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Canada says charity a front for Tamil Tigers, prepares to seize assets

[JURIST] Canada classified the World Tamil Movement (WTM) as a terrorist organization Tuesday [Canadian list of terrorist entities], according to comments [press release] by Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day [official website]. Day characterized the group as a front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [group website; CFR backgrounder], or "Tamil Tigers," stating that there was evidence linking the WTM to LTTE fund raising efforts, and that WTF representatives had elicited donations from Canadian Tamils and transferred funds to Sri Lankan bank accounts controlled by the LTTE. The listing, made pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada [text], is meant to combat terrorist activities and "support Canada's law-abiding Tamil community." The Canadian government now plans to seize WTM assets and make it illegal for Canadian citizens to donate to the group. CBC has more.

The LTTE [JURIST news archive] argue that the government of Sri Lanka [official website; JURIST news archive] must establish an independent ethnic state for Tamils within the current boundaries of Sri Lanka, a demand the government has rejected since the Tigers began an open rebellion in the 1970s. Canada placed the LTTE on its list of terrorist organizations [Public Safety list] in April 2006, citing the groups attacks on civilians as well as political, economic, religious and cultural targets through the use of terrorist tactics, including suicide bombings.

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