|Don’t feed the Tigers|
|Monday, 23 June 2008|
TERRORISM – those who practise it and those who support it – has no place in Canada.Ottawa officially placed the Tamil Tigers on its list of terrorist organizations two years ago. The LTTE – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – is the guerrilla group that’s used extortion, assassinations, suicide bombings and the forced recruitment of child soldiers in its bloody fight for an independent state within the island nation of Sri Lanka.
By rightly banning the LTTE, Canada finally joined the United Nations, European Union and many other countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia, in explicitly designating the Tigers as a terrorist group.
Last week, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day – citing [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] RCMP evidence which he said showed that the World Tamil Movement (WTM) had been raising funds to support the Tamil Tigers – added the Tamil non-profit group, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, to the terrorist blacklist.
After LTTE suicide attack in Sri Lanka
Faced with hundreds of pages of RCMP affidavits alleging police knew how LTTE leaders in Sri Lanka had been using the non-profit group to extract money from the Tamil community in Canada, Mr. Day had no choice but to act. As the minister pointed out, the WTM – which denies the allegations – has every right to appeal the move, to himself and then to a federal court, where automatic appeal provisions renew every two years.
Though the Tigers no doubt have the support of some in Canada’s Tamil community, there have been reports others, including many Tamil-owned businesses, have felt they’ve been intimidated into donating significant sums of money – through the WTM – to support the separatist group.
Another LTTE suicide attack
Mr. Day seemed to suggest the ongoing two-year RCMP investigation into the WTM may soon bring charges against individuals. "Stay tuned," said the minister.
None of this should suggest the Sri Lankan government – controlled by the country’s majority ethnic group, the Sinhalese – has been innocent of outrageous human-rights abuses in its on again, off again civil war with the Tamil Tigers for almost two decades, a conflict which has so far claimed perhaps 65,000 lives. Human-rights watchdogs have condemned the Sri Lankan government for use of torture and the nation’s military for causing indiscriminate civilian casualties in Tamil regions.
Canada clearly cannot allow groups that use terrorism – or the organizations that support such groups – to operate legally in this country. At the same time, Canada can continue to try to persuade both sides – the Sinhalese government and LTTE – to stop the bloodshed and realize an end to the conflict would benefit both peoples.
(Courtesy : The Chronicle Herald )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 02 February 2009 )|
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