Canada lists World Tamil Movement as terrorist organization
Calling it the leading fundraiser in Canada for the Tamil Tigers, the federal government has listed the World Tamil Movement as a terrorist organization, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announced Monday.
Speaking in Toronto, Day said the government will seize the WTM's assets and that it will be illegal for Canadians to help the group, including offering financial assistance.
Canada listed the Tamil Tigers, also known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), as a terrorist organization in 2006.
Day said the labelling follows an RCMP investigation into the organization.
"Clearly the evidence is now beyond even being reasonable, but is definitely sufficient and reasonable, to show that the World Tamil Movement has been involved in raising funds to support the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers.
"Innocent civilians in other countries have been killed by terrorist activity and … those terrorist activities in part are funded by dollars that have come from Canada. We want to put a stop to that and do everything we can to ensure that comes to an end."
Day wouldn't comment on how many funds are provided to the Tamils from the WTM, saying only they are "significant enough."
According to the Public Safety Department's website, WTM was created in 1986 and transfers funds to bank accounts in Sri Lanka meant for the LTTE.
"The leadership of the WTM acts at the direction of leaders of the LTTE. WTM representatives canvas areas in Canada with large Tamil populations demanding large donations on behalf of the LTTE. Refusals to contribute often lead to threats and intimidation."
The Tigers have been fighting for an independent Tamil state on the island of Sri Lanka since the 1980s. More than 60,000 people have died in their struggle with the Sinhalese government.