Ottawa Tamil group loses charitable status

The Canada Revenue Agency revokes the charitable status of Tamil (Sri Lanka) Refugee-Aid Society of Ottawa, saying the group has supported the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a terrorist organization.

Group supported Tamil Tigers terrorists, government says

The Canada Revenue Agency has revoked the charitable status of Tamil (Sri Lanka) Refugee-Aid Society of Ottawa.

The agency said Saturday that the society "was operating as part of the support network for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam," which Canada and the United Nations have declared a terrorist organization. 

The government "has made it very clear that it will not tolerate the abuse of the registration system for charities to provide any means of support to terrorism," the agency said in a news release.

The society provided $713,000 to a group supporting the Tamil Tigers, a news release said.

"The CRA audit also indicates that fundraising conducted under the society's auspices involved an individual who has been convicted in the United States of conspiring to provide material support to the LTTE."

The society's liaison officer for Sri Lanka was named in documents filed with the Federal Court of Canada as a contact with the World Tamil Movement, also a terrorist organization because of its ties to the Tamil Tigers.

The agency also said the society:

  • Failed to properly control the use of its funds.
  • Improperly issued tax receipts on behalf of third parties.

De-listing the society as a charity means it is no longer exempt from income tax and may have to pay tax equal to the full value of its remaining assets.