Canadian arrested for financing Tamil Tigers

OTTAWA, March 18, 2008 (AFP) – For the first time in Canada, federal police have charged a man with financing terrorists for soliciting cash for the Tamil Tigers, a banned group in this country, police said Tuesday. Thambithurai was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a bail hearing.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)’s anti-terrorism squad arrested Prapaharan Thambithurai, 45, over the weekend in westernmost British Columbia province, RCMP Sergeant Bob Seguin told AFP.

Thambithurai is said to have solicited cash donations for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or commonly known as Tamil Tigers) from Tamil residents in and around Vancouver, on Canada’s Pacific Coast.

According to the RCMP’s National Security Response Team, he is the first person in Canada to face charges under its anti-terrorism financing legislation.

The Tamil Tigers, who are fighting a bloody independence campaign in Sri Lanka, were added to Canada’s list of banned terror groups in April 2006.