The Lanka Academic

 
APRIL 10, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 4

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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HL:Terrorist Tigers banned, Canadian Tamils urged to report on fund-raising
Associated Press, Mon April 10, 2006 17:00 EDT . BC-Tamil-Tigers, 2nd Writethru Bgt By BRUCE CHEADLE

OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservative government has outlawed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and will encourage Canadian Tamils to snitch on any fund-raising efforts by the violent Sri Lankan separatist movement.

The Tamil Tigers were formally listed as a terrorist group effective Saturday, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announced Monday in a decision he said was "long overdue."

"It sends a signal to the (Tamil) community and right across the country that the government will not tolerate terrorism or terrorist activities," Day said.

The terrorist listing means it is illegal for anyone in Canada to support or participate in Tiger activities.

The decision, which comes just as Norwegian-brokered peace talks are about to resume in Geneva, appears likely to inflame debate in Canada's large, geographically concentrated Tamil community around Toronto.

"This is not us taking sides," said Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay. "This is very much about expressing a desire to see the peace process progress."

MacKay said he spoke Monday with Norway's foreign minister and promised full Canadian assistance, including an offer to host peace talks in Canada if desired.

The Tigers are notorious for their use of suicide bombers during a 23-year fight for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka.

More than 64,000 deaths are attributed to the quarter-century conflict, and some 300,000 Tamils have moved to Canada - almost half the estimated 600,000 to 800,000 Tamils dispersed around the globe.

Day said the swift decision - making good on a longstanding Conservative pledge that was purposely muted during the recent election campaign - was in part spurred by a report last month that claimed Canadian Tamils are being coerced and intimidated into giving money to the Tigers.

The government will be launching an advertising campaign targeting Canadian Tamils to explain the terrorist designation and the fundraising ban.

"In one of the ads that we're putting out there's a number listed for people who are emboldened now by the Criminal Code designation and may want to contact authorities for follow up," said Day.

It's the first time Ottawa has launched such a campaign after banning 39 persons or groups under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Vincent Veerasuntharam, a Tamil businessman from Toronto who ran unsuccessfully as a Tory candidate in the January election, said the Tamil community "is quite confused and disappointed" by the terrorist designation.

Tamils want Canada to assist the peace negotiations, he said, and are also concerned about the impact the terrorist designation may have on their ability to see their extended families in their homeland.

"They're Canadians first, law-abiding citizens, hard-working people, paying their taxes, raising families," Veerasuntharam told The Canadian Press.

"But they have a lot of families left there (in Sri Lanka). They just want justice and peace for their folks."

The former Liberal government barred the Tigers from raising cash in Canada, but Liberals - who rely heavily on Tamil support in several Toronto ridings - stopped short of formally declaring it a terrorist organization or outlawing membership in the group.

An internal Tory e-mail during the election campaign revealed the Conservatives were attempting to keep their promised Tiger ban out of the media for fear of alienating Tamil voters.

The full ban follows a report by Human Rights Watch that claimed the Tigers continue funding terrorist activities by extorting cash from expatriot Tamils in Canada, Britain and elsewhere.

"Obviously, listing the Tigers as a terrorist organization will go a long way to pushing the police in Canada to address these issues," James Ross, senior legal counsel for Human Rights Watch in New York, said Monday.

"We would hope it would have a real impact on the Tigers using intimidation and extortion against Canadian Tamils."

Day said authorities will be keeping a close eye on affiliated organizations that could run afoul of the terrorist designation should they continue allying themselves with the Tigers. Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 10 19:43:59 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
·
HL:Government outlaws Tamil Tigers in Canada, declares it terrorist group  - Associated Press
·
Canada to slap terrorist label on Tamil Tigers  - Toronto Star
·
Canada to classify LTTE as terror group: Report  - zeenews.com
·
S.Lanka army says rebel ambush kills 7, Canada acts  - today.reuters.com

CHRONOLOGY-Recent suspected S.Lanka Tiger rebel attacks
alertnet.org, April 10, 2006, 18:30 EDT. April 10 (Reuters) - Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed four Sri Lankan soldiers and two aid workers in a claymore mine ambush on Monday on the army-held northern Jaffna peninsula, the military said. The attack is the worst on land since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government agreed in January to hold direct talks in Switzerland. Here is a chronology of recent attacks on Sri Lankan military personnel blamed on the LTTE -- the vast majority of which the rebels deny any hand in. The Tigers in turn accuse the military of helping paramilitaries -- namely a breakaway Tiger faction led by a former Commander called Colonel Karuna -- of killing dozens of their fighters and civilians in a series of attacks. More...
Published: Mon Apr 10 18:26:59 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Claymore mine blast kills soldiers, civilians in northern Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 10th, 2006, SLT 4:15 pm. At least five soldiers and two humanitarian workers were killed on Monday in a Claymore mine blast by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Jaffna, the military said.

The fragmentation mine exploded on the main A-9 highway in Mirusuvil, Jaffna, as a Sri Lanka army cab and a local non-governmental organization vehicle crossed paths, said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, military spokesman.

The blast was the second in just two days in Jaffna, home to most of Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamil-minority.

On Saturday, suspected Tamil Tigers exploded a similar mine and opened fire at troops in two separate incidents in Sri Lanka's north and east.

A truck with 12 soldiers on board, carrying food rations was caught in the explosion that injured a soldier and a bystander.

One soldier and a Tamil rebel were killed when troops and Tigers exchanged fire in a separate incident in eastern Trincomalee, also on Saturday.

Violence in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east has spiked since Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, the leader of a pro-rebel citizens group called District Tamil People's Forum in Trincomalee, was gunned down by unidentified gunmen on Friday.

European cease-fire monitors have warned the violence could tilt the island toward war and mar crucial talks set for April 19 to save an increasingly fragile cease-fire.

Monday's explosion took place hours after Sri Lanka's main international donors met the rebels' political head S. P. Thamislevan in the northern rebel-held capital Kilinochchi to urge the Tigers to desist from violence and to also secure their commitment to next week's talks in Switzerland. Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 10 07:37:59 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Tamil Tiger rebels deny link in mine explosion that killed seven  - Associated Press
·
New violence hits Sri Lanka , five government soldiers, two civilians killed  - Associated Press

Grenade explodes in Sri Lanka as ambassadors meet Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Mon April 10, 2006 06:07 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A grenade exploded near the newly opened office of a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers on Monday, officials said, as foreign ambassadors urged the rebels to seek a peaceful settlement to Sri Lanka - 's two-decade conflict... Back to the top

Delhi wants Colombo, LTTE to move beyond Karuna
thepeninsulaqatar.com, April 10, 2006, 10:25 EDT. New Delhi: Amid indications that President Mahinda Rajapakse is prepared to walk the extra mile for peace, India does not want the upcoming Geneva talks between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers to get confined to "Colonel" Karuna, the LTTE renegade... Back to the top

Violence escalates in Sri Lanka; truce monitors warn attacks could mar talks
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 9th, 2006. Suspected Tamil Tigers exploded a Claymore mine and opened fire at troops in two separate incidents in Sri Lanka's north and east n Saturday as cease-fire monitors warned the spate of violence could jeopardize peace talks, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's top donors ask Tamil Tigers to move political solution forward
Associated Press, Sun April 9, 2006 03:06 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's top donors and backers of the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels are traveling to guerrilla-held territory on Monday to urge the rebels to stay committed to a peaceful settlement of the island nation's two-decade conflict... Back to the top

Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger rebels clash over transport ahead of Geneva II
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 9th, 2006. The government has turned down a request by the Tamil Tigers for air transport between the island's north and east, presidential officials said... Back to the top

South Asia should unite behind one of its own
Hindu, APril 9. KOFI ANNAN's term as Secretary-General of the United Nations comes to an end on December 31, 2006... Back to the top

LTTE warning to Lankan govt
Dawn, COLOMBO, April 8. Tamil Tiger rebels have warned that they will use their own boats to transport guerillas, risking clashes with Sri Lanka’s navy, after the government refused to airlift them to a crucial meeting, a pro-rebel report said... Back to the top

Sri Sri ready to meet LTTE chief to facilitate peace process
deccanherald.com, April 09, 2006, 10:15 EDT. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is currently on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka, has expressed his readiness to meet LTTE supremo Prabhakaran to facilitate the peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Big Fleet of Little Boats
strategypage.com, April 09, 2006, 10:15 EDT. April 9, 2006: Sri Lanka's navy has been rarely discussed in recent years, with much of the focus being on a long civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (better known as the LTTE, or Tamil Tigers)... Back to the top

India wants Sri Lanka, LTTE to move beyond Karuna
dailyindia.com, April 09, 2006. New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Amid indications that President Mahinda Rajapakse is prepared to walk the extra mile for peace, India does not want the upcoming Geneva talks between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers to get confined to 'Colonel' Karuna, the LTTE renegade... Back to the top

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