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Designate LTTE as terror group in Canada: Papers

According to prominent Canadian papers, Sri Lanka's rebel outfit is 'illegally collecting money' from the country's Tamil diaspora.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 14:45 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Canada's two prominent newspapers have asked the new Conservative government to designate Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation since the outfit is "illegally collecting money" from country's large Tamil diaspora.

"Their brutal campaign is being financed in large part by expatriate Tamil thugs living in Canada who are extorting fellow Canadians into paying thousands of dollars to support the final war," The Globe and Mail newspaper said.

The new government should move quickly to fulfil one of its election promises: designating the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, it said in an editorial.

The National Post has termed the Tamil Tigers as a "notorious" terrorist organisation, saying tens of thousands of people have died directly as a result of Tiger activities.

"The Tigers belong in that special category of hell reserved for the likes of Al-Qaeda and Hamas, the activities of which rightly are illegal in Canada," the paper wrote.

A New York-based rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, said in a 45-page report that Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels are using threats, intimidation and violence to extort millions of dollars from Tamils living abroad, including some 200,000 Tamils in Canada.

The LTTE representatives typically press families for 2,150 dollars to 4,300 dollars, while some businesses have been asked for up to 86,000 dollars, the rights watchdog said.

Vijay Sappani of the Canadian Tamil Congress denied the accusations. "In the past we have seen such reports from Jo Becker (the report's author) and we have seen that these are false accusations," he told broadcaster CTV.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 14:45 IST