Canada Deports Former LTTE Cadre As Does Britain In Recent Times Where Appeals Are Rejected Indicative Of A Positive Stance.
Posted on September 29th, 2011
Insight By Sunil Kumar
It used to be a case of lies, innuendo and fabrications presented by clever albeit crooked defence attorneys in many parts of the world which often was the redemption of terrorists and criminals on the run seeking havens in places which tolerated them. It was a shamefulƒÆ’-¡ practice which was time imemorial going back to the great wars and perhaps much furtherƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ a consternationƒÆ’-¡ to those who saw it as an aberration of justice and righteousness but not so today particularly in the case of Tamil Tiger terrorists and their consorts who wreaked havoc on Sovereign Sri Lanka for almost three decades!
The latest actions by Canada and the UK are beginning to prove this as more and more terrorists are deported back to Sri Lanka to face the charges against them and their part in the internal armed ƒÆ’-¡ insurrection which almost tore Sri Lanka apart where unscrupulous lawyers are denied their false claims and perhaps a sign of the times and a good one at that.
In a recent ƒÆ’-¡ report highlighted in the National Post of CanadaƒÆ’-¡ whereƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ a man who worked as a tax collector in the Tamil TigersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ finance department while the terrorist group engaged in crimes against humanity, itƒÆ’-¡ is exactly this. He has been branded a war criminal and ordered out of Canada in a court ruling that holds office clerks just as culpable as the armed insurgents theyƒÆ’-¡ support in whatever capacityƒÆ’-¡ in a no nonsense ruling which should flush out and mete the same action of deportation or greater punishmentƒÆ’-¡ as there are many more such individuals in hiding as research seems to indicate and there should be no sympathies granted to such.
The story of Puvanesan Thurairajah, 36,ƒÆ’-¡ a citizen of Sri Lanka and of Tamil ethnicity is a prime example.ƒÆ’-¡ Before coming to Canada,ƒÆ’-¡ he is knownƒÆ’-¡ to haveƒÆ’-¡ worked for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) withƒÆ’-¡ proven records towards this reality. The LTTE beingƒÆ’-¡ a group on CanadaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s official list of designated terrorist organizations has been the prima facie reckoning towards the court ruling.ƒÆ’-¡ It has not swayed The Federal Court of Canada despite the pleas of the defence whichƒÆ’-¡ typical of the objective to grant reprieve by misleading through fabricated circumstances whichƒÆ’-¡ have a note of sob story written all over it as in every such situation where clever defence attorneys try to sway court decisions but the official toneƒÆ’-¡ seems to be changing as the law gets tougher on a very positive note.
At the court hearing which resulted in his deportation, the following deposition was made by him according to excerptsƒÆ’-¡ from theƒÆ’-¡ National Post quoted earlier and compiled with comments added.
After finishing school in northern Sri Lanka, the deporteeƒÆ’-¡ has indicated that he worked in a factory in Jaffna which was charged aƒÆ’-¡ forcible extortion feeƒÆ’-¡ by the LTTE and when Tigers came to collect they tried to recruit himƒÆ’-¡ and thatƒÆ’-¡ he refused. In late 1992, the LTTE are alleged to have ƒÆ’-¡ taken him to a camp located in a place called ChankaniƒÆ’-¡ by force, beaten him and threatened to kill him, where the man after being held for three weeks,ƒÆ’-¡ eventually agreed to work for them. Having worked in the records office at an LTTE camp in Tinnevelly for a year heƒÆ’-¡ hadƒÆ’-¡ beenƒÆ’-¡ promoted to the finance department at the camp in Chankanai for two years, where he was responsible for collectingƒÆ’-¡ extortion moniesƒÆ’-¡ for the Tigers, which funded the civil war whose funding also came from a vast global network of contributors towards the insurrection.
While working in these camps he was always allowed to go home in the evenings, court heard. He is purported to have stopped working for the LTTE when the Sri Lankan army won control of the Jaffna peninsula. In 2000, on a trip to the capital Colombo, he was arrested and accused of supporting the Tigers. He was released after six days after paying a bribe he saysƒÆ’-¡ and eventuallyƒÆ’-¡ fled to Britain where his claim for asylum was rejected. Perhaps at that stage the British authorities too drew similar conclusions to Canada
In 2007, he arrived in Canada using a fake Canadian passport, settled in Montreal and claimed refugee protection.That claim was rejected by the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) after an adjudicator found reasonable grounds to believe he committed a war crime or crime against humanity under Article 1F of the United NationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ convention on refugees.
Thurairajah thenƒÆ’-¡ appealed that decision in court backed by his attorneys, arguing it was unreasonable to hold him to account for the actions of a group he was forced to join suggesting that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The position he held within the Finance Department for the Tigers was by and large negligible. He never carried a weapon or participated in the commission of crimes against humanity,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ as recorded in court documents.
His pleaƒÆ’-¡ howeverƒÆ’-¡ drew little judicial support and was documented as ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-An exclusion based on Article 1F of the Convention, a serious matter which could affect the refugee claimant for the rest of his life,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ which Justice Luc Martineau acknowledgedƒÆ’-¡ whereƒÆ’-¡ the decision in all probabilities was relative to the reprehensibilities with which the world viewed terrorism and incorporated in the laws ofƒÆ’-¡ eachƒÆ’-¡ country affected.
Justice Martineau has written in conclusion that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The applicant hadƒÆ’-¡ admitted that the Tigers participated in many crimes against humanity and that they are an organization directed to a limited, brutal purpose,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The [IRB] panel found the Tigers committed crimes against humanity at the time when the applicant belonged to it; that is, between 1992 and 1995ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The collection of taxes financing the Tigers cannot be qualified as a negligible or passive participation in the organization,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ The panel at the conclusion of the verdict found the applicant to be complicit in crimes committed by the Tigers.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬
Justice Martineau has consequentlyƒÆ’-¡ found the IRBƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision to be reasonable.
ƒÆ’-¡ Mr. ThurairajahƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s lawyer Myriam HarbecƒÆ’-¡ hasƒÆ’-¡ been quoted as saying”ƒÆ’-¡ she was disappointed with the decision but not entirely surprised. No matter what involvement they had with the LTTE, thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the way the Federal Court is thinking right now. But in Sri Lanka and in some African countries, people were forced to cooperate with these groups.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, end quote, at a media interview where many judgements in the past,ƒÆ’-¡ at similar hearings
have been in favour of the refugee claimamant and if not, in many cases subsequently overturned on appeal and some with terrorist links walk free!
Since the coming to power of the Conservatives led by the Hon.Mr Stephen Harper ably assisted towards the cause by the eminent Mr Stockwell Day, Canada’s stance towards tolerance of such cases seems to have toughened unlike the tolerances of previous governments particularlyƒÆ’-¡ the Liberals who are even accused of been lenient to them and at times even partying with some of their fronts whether inadvertently or not.
Lately Britain too has adoptedƒÆ’-¡ a similar toughness as groups with proven links to the LTTE are being systematically deported despite many attempts by appeal attorneys to restrainƒÆ’-¡ suchƒÆ’-¡ orders which is a very positive sign that global terrorism will now be met head on with full forceƒÆ’-¡ and deterrents applied. In this respect the world should alsoƒÆ’-¡ remember the tough stance taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to search and destroy the terrorist menace which plagued the country for decades!
Luc Labelle, spokesman for Canada Border Services Agency, declined to discuss the case, but said “crimes against humanity” cases are among the agencyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s top priorities where the term howeverƒÆ’-¡ should not be used as a cliche towards false accusations against the legitimacies which entitle a Sovereign Nation to fight terrorism which sometimes comes back to haunt the accusersƒÆ’-¡ .