Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meeting with RCMP to nail LTTE activities in Toronto-Canada

Posted on December 6th, 2009
By: Kamala Chandrakurana

It was a Patriotic meeting called by peace loving Canadian-Sri Lankan community with RCMP National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) and Toronto Police Unit Commander Director Mark Pugash & team on 5th December 2009 “Party Room” at 301 Prudential DR, Scarborough. Toronto.

It was attended by nearly 100 Canadian-Sri Lankan citizens (Including Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and Burgers) who were worried about the threat to peace and harmony among our community in Canada since the pro-LTTE group invited “Nam Thamilar” (We are Tamils) movement leader, Tamil Nadu Cine industry personality and Very close follower of LTTE leader Pribaharan who had given a “Mavirar” (War Heroes) speech recently in Toronto. He called all young generation Tamils to become a human bomb to achieve dream land “Tamil Eleam”. Also he called to kill all Sinhalese in this world in order to get Tamil Freedom and Tamil home land “Tamil Eleam”

RCMP prompt action was highly appreciated at this meeting to deport this terrorist Leader immediately after his violence speech. However, concern was arise the Visit visa issued to him since he is a notorious LTTE leader. RCMP team has noted the concern and promise to be watchful in future all this group activities.

All credit has to go to Mr. Lenin Benedic and his team who were organized this meeting. It was necessary meeting to bring more confidence on RCMP and its law & order implementation. All participations were raised so many questions about LTTE activities in Toronto. RCMP Superintendent has told that he is aware of all the activities and their net work even he mentioned that this meeting was attended by some of them and they were transmitting every discussion through their “Blackberry” communication unit. ( CTC Spy & LTTE Spy’s )

It was a true statement by chief as it was very noticeable to everyone the person who was sitting in third row was kept switch on his “Blackberry” and transmitting the conversation. He is well known LTTE spy and member of Canadian Tamil Congress Mr. Vije. He was accompanied by some of other member of LTTE intelligent wing. They all were shocked by the remark made by RCMP Superintendent. They were watching who raising questions against them.

However, some of participants were bolder and courage to come out with evidence against to LTTE operations in Canada. They told that they are no more fear about LTTE and they want to associate with RCMP to clean this anti-social elements to have peaceful and harmony in Toronto and all over Canada.

It is a strong message sent to all Pro-LTTE groups that every Canadian-Sri Lankan is joining hands without looking their race and religion. RCMP is welcome this meeting and show more credible attitude to crash this terror group.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Authorities eye aid from Tamil Tigers to identify migrants

Canada also considering seeking assistance from Sri Lankan government to determine whether men a security risk

Jane Armstrong

Vancouver From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Canadian authorities are considering tracking down known Tamil Tigers – some outside the country – to help them distinguish potential terrorists from genuine refugees among the 76 Tamil men who arrived in a boat off Vancouver Island in October.

The government is also considering seeking assistance from the Sri Lankan government as it attempts to delve into the backgrounds of these men who claim to be refugees fleeing postwar Sri Lanka.

The revelations were made at a detention hearing Monday for one of the Tamil migrants, who remains behind bars in a Vancouver-area detention centre. Government lawyer Ron Yamauchi was making the case to keep the man in custody for security reasons.

The Immigration and Refugee Board has so far sided with the government's position that these mysterious men must stay in custody because there is reasonable grounds to believe they might be inadmissible to Canada on security grounds. But the men can't be held in detention indefinitely. At some point, the government must seek to have them sent home or allow them to be released while their refugee claims proceed.

Some security experts have suggested that the migrant ship was filled with Tamil Tigers, the violent separatist group that waged a decades-long civil war with the Sri Lankan government, which ended in their defeat last spring.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Tamil Tiger supporter deported after speaking at rally

Stewart Bell, National Post Published: Thursday, November 26, 2009

TORONTO -- Canadian immigration officials arrested an Indian man in Toronto on Thursday after he gave a fiery speech at an event where the flag of the outlawed Tamil Tigers rebels was flown.

Sebastian Seeman, who was in Canada on a speaking tour, was taken into custody by Canada Border Services Agency officers and questioned before agreeing to leave the country immediately.

A CBSA spokeswoman, Patricia Giolti, confirmed the arrest, and his lawyer Hadayt Nazami said immigration officials had intended to deport him on security grounds unless he left voluntarily.

He departed Canada on Thursday night.

Mr. Seeman was scheduled to speak at a Tamil community function last night but was forced to cancel due to his arrest. He was to speak in Montreal on Sunday.

A film director from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Seeman is known for his hardline speeches in support of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels and their fight for independence.

The Tigers were wiped out by the Sri Lankan military in May, ending three decades of civil war but during the final months of the conflict Mr. Seeman was arrested several times in India for speeches considered inflammatory.

He was also targeted by the Indian press after photos surfaced showing him smiling and posing with the late leader of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

During his speech in Toronto on Wednesday, Mr. Seeman talked about restarting the civil war in Sri Lanka, according to several Tamil-Canadians who heard it on the radio or watched it on the Internet.

He also spoke harshly about the ethnic Singhala who are the majority in Sri Lanka. "No Singhala can live," he said, according to the witnesses. He also said the war would have ended differently had the rebels bombed 100 Singhala schools for every Tamil school bombed by the Sri Lankan forces.

In the video of his speech, a flag bearing the militaristic emblem of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, can be seen in the room. The Tigers are a banned terrorist organization under Canadian law.

RCMP officers and members of the Toronto and Peel police services were involved in Mr. Seeman's arrest, which comes as police are cracking down on the pro-rebel events that were once common in Toronto.

"I think that's what the accusation was, to be honest with you, that he was pro-LTTE ... membership in a terrorist group, whether by association, activity or speeches or we don't know," Mr. Nazami said.

Mr. Nazami said Mr. Seeman had denied any ties to the rebels. He had agreed to leave because CBSA officials intended to detain him until at least Monday, which meant he would miss his speaking events.

"I think for him that was the deciding factor," Mr. Nazami said. "The issue was, he's a film director, he's got things to do."

Mr. Seeman's speaking tour coincided with "heroes' day," also known as "martyr's day," an event held each year to commemorate Tamil rebels who died during the fight for independence.

A report by the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, an agency based in CSIS headquarters, says that during the 2007 martyr's day event "children were photographed wearing LTTE t-shirts and one young boy was shown brandishing a fake weapon."

Police have been investigating Tamil Tigers activities in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver since 2002. The investigation concluded that pro-rebel groups in Canada had funneled millions of dollars to the Tigers.

RCMP Commissioner William Elliott said in a speech last month that while the Sri Lankan insurgency had ended, the Tamil Tigers remained a terrorist group that could have a significant impact in Canada.

"There are an estimated 250,000 Tamils in this country, more than anywhere else in the world outside of Sri Lanka. Canada is one of the few places in the world where LTTE terrorists and supporters might seek to hide in plain sight, and potentially launch terrorist activities," he said.

Mr. Seeman entered Canada on Monday. He was traveling on a visa issued last month by the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. He visited Canada in 2007 without incident.

National Post

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Arson suspected in Toronto Buddhist temple fire

Gas can found at scene

Last Updated: Friday, November 27, 2009 | 7:55 AM ET

A Thursday night fire at a Buddhist temple in east end Toronto frequented by people of Sri Lankan origin was deliberately set, police say.

Someone used what appears to be gasoline to start the blaze at the rear of the Maha Vihara Buddhist Meditation Centre on Kingston Road, Toronto police said.

Investigators found a gas can at the scene. They used dogs to try to track the suspects, but the trail went cold.

Damage is estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars. The temple, which is frequented by those of Sinhalese descent, has previously been struck by arson.

In May, an arsonist lit a fire at the temple's front door. Police have not yet found who was responsible for that blaze.

Worshippers at the time said ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka were to blame. Sri Lanka's consul general Bandula Jayasekara echoed that sentiment in May, placing the blame for the fire on local supporters of the Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lankan rebel group.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Traces of explosives potential danger to Tamils' case


VANCOUVER From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

More traces of explosives have been found on the migrant ship that brought 76 Sri Lankan Tamil men to Canada last month, a Canada Border Services Agency officer has testified.

The explosive RDX - also known as cyclonite or hexogen - is used to make plastic explosives, mainly for the military. Its residue was discovered in three separate parts of the Princess Easwary, which was intercepted off the coast of Vancouver Island on Oct. 17.

Traces of two other explosives were found on two items of clothing seized when Canadian authorities boarded the ship and took the migrants into custody.

This latest revelation - made at a detention hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board - is potentially damaging to the migrants.

All of the migrants claim to be Tamil refugees fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka. All told, border officers who scoured and swabbed the ship came up with 10 positive results for traces of explosives.

Some terrorism experts - including a scholar who is the main adviser to the Canadian government in the case - have alleged that at least two of the men are members of the Tamil Tigers, the military arm of a violent separatist group that waged a decades-long war with the Sri Lankan government. There have also been allegations that the migrants' ship was previously a Tamil Tiger gun-running vessel that transported weapons from North Korea to Sri Lanka.

But the lawyer for more than 20 of the Tamil migrants said the positive tests for explosives traces mean little. If anything, the fact that the amounts found are relatively small undermines the argument that this was a gun-running ship. If it truly was used to transport weapons and explosives, far more residue would have been detected, Lorne Waldman said in an interview after the hearing.

"They are claiming this is a weapons smuggling ship," he said in a telephone interview from Toronto. "They are talking about microscopic traces of explosives. ... It's not plausible that a ship that was dedicated to smuggling weapons" produced so few positive results.

Mr. Waldman said it would not be unusual to find traces of explosives - some of which were found on the migrants' clothing - if the men had been near conflict zones. The lawyer yesterday put that scenario to CBSA officer Chantal Lee, who analyzed swabs from the ship.

But Ms. Lee said she couldn't answer that. "All I know is that I took the samples and the results were positive," she testified.

Lawyers for the migrants have cross-examined three witnesses who have provided testimony for Canadian authorities in their attempts to determine if the migrants are terrorists or genuine refugees.

Last week, Mr. Waldman grilled Rohan Gunaratna, a Singapore-based terrorism expert who has been the chief adviser to Canadian authorities probing the migrants' identities and backgrounds.

Yesterday, Mr. Waldman questioned Ms. Lee, who tested dozens of swabs taken from the ship. She said she discovered "three hits" of the explosive RDX in swabs taken from different parts of the ship.

Later, more samples that were sent to Ottawa for testing yielded five positive results for the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, she said. PETN is also used in heart medication.

The latest revelations about the RDX discovery brings to 10 the number of positive test results for explosive residue found on the Princess Easwary. Earlier, CBSA officers found trace amounts of TNT and PETN on two items of clothing seized from the ship.

It's been more than a month since the migrant ship sailed into Canadian waters off Vancouver Island. Today, all but one of the 76 men remain behind bars as border officials attempt to establish their identities.

In other testimony, a border intelligence officer said he learned that the migrant ship was headed to Canadian waters two days before it arrived. Russ MacNeil testified that ships of that size are required to notify a country's coast guard 96 hours before arriving. When the ship failed to declare itself, a federal fisheries airplane was sent to observe it. From aerial photos, border officials were able to glean that the ship was called Ocean Lady. This later proved to be a fake name and its real name was the Princess Easwary.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

LTTE is regrouping and advocating return to violence

Daily Mirror Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dr. Rohan Gunaratne, International Terrorism Expert and Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Rajaratnam School of International Studies, speaks to Hard Talk about the threat of the LTTE raising its head once more.

Placing blame on the foreign ministry for what he terms it’s ‘miserable failure to counter the LTTE propaganda, Dr. Gunaratne maintains that the two factions of the LTTE’s global face; one led by Nediyawan in Norway portrays Prabhakaran's image, flies the Tiger flag and advocates the armed struggle - meaning a return to violence, while the second faction led by V. Rudrakumaran out of New York ‘also wants to create a separate Tamil state but politically.

He stresses that Nediyawan should be extradited to Sri Lanka for his role in the LTTE. ‘Nediyawan's rival Rudrakumaran, also seeking to divide Sri Lanka and polorize the Tamils and Sinhalese and Muslims presents a strategic threat to peace in Sri Lanka. Like Prabhakaran brought endless suffering, Rudrakumaran will bring another cycle of suffering’, he emphasizes.

He notes that President Rajapaksa should take a bold step and invite Rudrakumaran to abandon such action and join the rest of the country to develop the north and the east of the country. He believes that in the larger interest of peace, Sri Lanka must not fear to invite even the worst terrorist or terrorist idealogue to join the political mainstream.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

French court jails Tamil Tigers for extortion

Published: November 23, 2009 19:04h

A French court on Monday jailed 21 Tamil Tiger militants convicted of extorting millions of euros from the Tamil diaspora in France to fund their armed campaign in Sri Lanka.

The toughest sentence of seven years in was given to Nadaraja Matinthiran, whom the court heard was the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organisation in France.

Matinthiran was accused of extorting some five million euros (7.4 million dollars) from France's 75,000-strong Tamil community, many of them refugees from the conflict in their homeland.

The court also ordered that the Coordinating Committee of Tamils-France be dismantled after ruling that it was a front for the LTTE, which is on the European Union's list of terror groups.

The alleged Tamil leader in France and the 20 other defendants appeared in court for the sentencing along with family members and a large contingent from the Tamil community, among the biggest in Europe.

Two more LTTE members were given four years in prison and a third six years, while the others received sentences ranging from three and a half years to six months suspended. One defendant was acquitted.

The defendants were convicted of having pressured Tamil families in Paris and the surrounding area to provide funds to support the LTTE's armed campaign in Sri Lanka.

Most of the suspects were arrested in April 2007 and charged with criminal conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, financing of terrorism or racketeering to finance terrorism.

Experts believe the Tamil Tigers exert a controlling influence over the diaspora, in many cases levying a "revolutionary tax" based on household size and income.

Sri Lankan government forces overran the Tigers' last jungle holdout in the northeast in May, ending their four-decade struggle for an independent Tamil homeland, one of Asia's longest-running ethnic conflicts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Notorious Toronto gangster re-emerges as Sri Lankan asylum seeker

Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah, centre, initially told reporters he was a businessman with an MBA degree, was recognized by Canadian police as a notorious Toronto gang member who was deported from Canada in ...

Stewart Bell, National Post Published: Monday, November 09, 2009
TORONTO -- When a migrant smuggling ship bound for Australia was seized in Indonesian waters last month, a 27-year-old with a thick beard stepped forward to speak for the boat people.

He said he was Alex and that the more than 200 asylum seekers aboard the wooden cargo ship were ethnic Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka, but it was the way he said it that stood out: He spoke in a distinctly Canadian accent.

In Toronto, police watched the news footage coming out of Indonesia on YouTube and instantly recognized "Alex." He was Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah. And he wasn't a businessman with an MBA degree, as he had told reporters, he was a Toronto gang member.

Yesterday, Kuhendrarajah admitted he had been deported from Canada in 2003 for violent crimes but denied allegations he was a human smuggler and asked to be brought to Australia.

"The fact that I lived in Canada for a period of time and was removed from Canada has no bearing whatsoever on my claim or the claim of the other 250 people for asylum," he said in a statement.

While the Canadian government has been investigating the identities of 76 Sri Lankans who arrived in British Columbia waters on Oct. 17 (one of whom is wanted by Sri Lanka for terrorism), Australia has been trying to figure out how to handle similar migrant ships headed its way. At Australia's request, the Indonesian Navy intercepted a boatload of 255 Sri Lankans early last month and brought them to Merak, in western Java. Australia is reluctant to admit the asylum seekers, and the discovery that a convicted Toronto gang member is on board may only make matters worse.

Making the case for the boat people, Kuhendrarajah has been a passionate spokesman for the cause of Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority, saying they face "genocide in Sri Lanka. Just the fact that you are Tamil, you will face genocide sooner or later. There will be an annihilation of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It will happen."

But during his 16 years in Canada, Kuhendrarajah likewise participated in a campaign of violence against ethnic Tamils as a member of AK Kannan, a Tamil street gang behind a rash of drive-by shootings in Toronto.

Named after its weapon of choice, the AK-47 assault rifle, AK Kannan was formed by Sri Lankans who came to Canada in the 1980s, according to an RCMP report. AK Kannan and a rival Tamil gang called the VVT fought a violent turf war in Toronto in the 1990s.

AK Kannan was known for its heavy firepower. In January, 1998, Toronto police raided an AK Kannan weapons cache in a snowbank behind a Scarborough gas station and found a submachine gun and two sawed-off 12-gauge shotguns.
The Tamil gangs' wild tit-for-tat shootings turned parts of Toronto into a war zone, as gang members opened fire on each other from speeding cars. They shot up not only each other, but also innocent bystanders, one of them a 19-year-old Tamil university student mistakenly gunned down in a Scarborough doughnut shop in 1997.

Toronto police set up a Tamil Task Force but the gangs evaded prison by threatening witnesses and refusing to testify against each other. Meanwhile, Canada's major banks incurred losses "in the millions" as a result of financial frauds committed by the gangs, the task force wrote in a report.

Residents who lived near a Scarborough basement rented by AK Kannan complained to police "that these hoodlums were yelling, shouting, urinating, throwing garbage, walking across peoples' lawns and disrupting the peace in the neighborhood," the report said.

Kuhendrarajah lived in one such gang den. Born in Sri Lanka in 1982, he arrived in Canada at age five to live with his grandparents, but by 12 he was skipping school and received counselling for his anger.

The Children's Aid Society stepped in and he lived in foster homes until he was 16. He returned to his mother briefly (his father lived in the U.K.) but would come home drunk and high on marijuana. He ended up moving into a basement apartment with gang friends. Police knew the place as an AK Kannan hangout and visited it often to investigate shootings in the area or to arrest Kuhendrarajah's friends for such crimes as kidnapping or assault.

After VVT gangsters ran over an AK Kannan member named Kandipan Poopolasingam in a movie theatre parking lot, Kuhendrarajah approached a youth he thought was affiliated with the men responsible.

"If you talk to them, I am going to shoot you," Kuhendrarajah told him. He then raised his shirt to show the handle of his sawed-off .22. He was later convicted of illegal weapons possession and threatening. Immigration officials decided to deport him.
The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) agreed he should be sent back to Sri Lanka. "He has had a longstanding problem with anger and disregarded authority figures at home and school," the IRB wrote, adding his links to Canada were "limited."
"I hung around with the wrong people before," Kuhendrarajah told an IRB hearing in March 2003. Asked why he had carried a weapon, he said, "I'm going to be honest with you, I wanted to be a bad boy."

He said he would return to Sri Lanka willingly but first he wanted to spend time at home visiting his daughter, who was born just 12 days before his arrest. When the IRB refused, Kuhendrarajah lost it.

"Do you think I give a f--k about your f--king country?" he said. He then threw a rubber eraser at the IRB member and left the hearing room. The IRB wrote that the outburst "indicates an individual that does not fully control himself."

He was deported to Sri Lanka soon after, and that was the last Canadian police heard of him until he reappeared in Indonesia as the articulate spokesman for the Tamil boat people trying to reach Australia.

In his statement yesterday, he portrayed his past in Canada as a non-issue. "The Sri Lankan government is trying to interfere with our right to have a fair hearing for our claims for asylum in a safe country," he said. "The Sri Lankan government is desperate to divert attention away from its role in human rights abuses, particularly against Tamils in Sri Lanka."

National Post

RCMP thwart 14 suspected terrorist incidents

Several cases involve Tamil Tigers and their supporters

In Sri Lanka, 'Tamils can live in a state of security'

National Post Published: Monday, November 16, 2009

Re: Collacott's Myopia Never Ceases To Amaze, letter to the editor, Nov. 4; 'Normal' In Sri Lanka Is Not Good Enough, letter to the editor, Nov. 7.

Letter-writers Roy Ratnavel and David Poopalapillai have attempted to make the case that Tamils are persecuted in Sri Lanka. If we accept this contention, it will help pave the way for the boatload of Sri Lankan Tamils who arrived recently in our waters to claim they are genuine refugees and, therefore, entitled to stay here permanently.

While the fighting continued in Sri Lanka, the argument was made that young Tamil men were at risk either from the government side -- which thought they might be supporters of the Tamil Tiger terrorists -- or from the Tigers themselves, who were not reluctant about using forceful methods where necessary to gain new recruits for their movement. The fighting ended in May of this year, however, and this argument has become less than convincing.

As Tamils, are they being persecuted? In support of his claim that the Sri Lankan government has an anti-Tamil bias, Mr. Ratnavel cites the large numbers of Tamils killed by Sinhalese mobs in Colombo in July 1983, following the deaths of 13 soldiers in an ambush carried out by the Tigers. While questions have been raised about the slowness of the authorities in quelling the violence and restoring order on that occasion, the fact is that in the intervening years no similar outbreak has been allowed to occur -- despite terrorist bombings by the Tigers that have killed hundreds of civilians.

Tamils, understandably, recall with horror the events of July 1983 and many at the time fled to what they regarded as safer areas of the country. Since then, however, the authorities have ensured that Tamils can live in a state of security in the capital and their proportion of the population in the Colombo District has actually increased beyond what it was before the 1983 riots. In the central area of the city they now constitute about one third of population. A Tamil, moreover, served as mayor in the late 1990s and there are currently three Tamil ministers in the national Cabinet.

In the circumstances, the recent boat arrivals will have a hard time proving they are members of a persecuted minority in Sri Lanka -- which they will have to do if they are to make a credible case for being granted refugee status in Canada. Otherwise, they will have to line up like thousands of others and apply to come here as regular immigrants if they want to enjoy the benefits of living in this country.

Martin Collacott, former high commissioner to Sri Lanka, Vancouver.

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