LTTE forced Canadian Tamils to sign pre-payment forms


Toronto : Canadian police have seized documents showing Tamil Tigers leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran soliciting money from Tamils here for his armed struggle in Sri Lanka.

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The documents, seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in raids on the offices of the World Tamil Movement in Toronto and Montreal, show a 2002 letter by Prabhakaran, asking Tamils in Canada to send him 15 of the “100 crore” rupees he needs for his armed struggle. Fifteen crore Sri Lankan rupees is equal to about three million Canadian dollars.

The World Tamil Movement (WTM) is the alleged front organization in Canada for raising funds for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE).

Apart from coercing the local Tamils to pay it, the WTM (read the PTTE) also made Canadian Tamils visiting the LTTE-held territory in Sri Lanka to sign pre-payment forms.

The WTM first came under the scanner in 2002. After a long probe, its offices were raided in 2006. The police also raided its Toronto and Montreal offices last month after a Toronto-based Tamil Prapaharan Thambithurai was held in Vancouver for raising funds for the LTTE.

The RCMP produced the seized documents in a federal court seeking forfeiture of the WTM’s funds and assets as it raised funds for terrorist financing which was banned in Canada in 2001.

The documents, which made public Friday, show that the WTM serves as a foreign branch of the LTTE for raising money for it.

Listing how the WTM raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and sent them abroad for buying weapons for the LTTE, the police also revealed its modus operandi.

Apart from coercing the local Tamils into paying funds for them, Canadian Tamils visiting the LTTE-held territory in Sri Lankan were forced to sign pre-authorized payment forms. This money was collected by the WTM here.

LTTE supporters were openly active in fund-raising till the outfit was banned by the new Conservative government in 2006.

They often resorted to extortion and threats against Tamil expatriates to collect money. Since the ban, the WTM has raised funds for it.

Under Canadian laws, anyone who gives funds to a banned terror outfit can be jailed for 10 years and anyone who raises funds faces up to 14 years behind bars.

With over 250,000 Sri Lankan Tamils living in this country, Canada has their largest concentration outside Sri Lanka . Of these, about 200,000 live in the Toronto area.