Top Tiger arrested in Australia
* Charged with raising funds for LTTE
* Tsunami funds channelled to terror group
AUSTRALIA: Australian police charged a man with multiple
terrorism offenses yesterday for his alleged role in raising money for
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by telling donors it was for
victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami.
Arumugam Rajeevan, 41, appeared briefly in a Sydney court and was
ordered to be transferred to Melbourne, where two other men accused of
channelling money to the rebels were arrested in May. Rajeevan has been
charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation, providing
support or resources to a terrorist organisation and making an asset
available to a proscribed entity.
The charges carry maximum prison terms of 25, 10 and five years,
respectively. If convicted, Rajeevan and two Melbourne businessmen,
Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 32, and Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, could face up to
25 years in jail.
“(Rajeevan) was charged in connection with two earlier arrests in May
this year to do with raising money for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam, the terrorist group,” said Police Commissioner Mick Keelty. After
the first arrests, Australia played down a suggestion that the country
was a major source of funds for the Tigers.
Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona said that up to 30 per cent of
the Tigers’ external funding was raised in Australia.
Vinayagamoorthy and Yathavan were seized in May during raids in the
Victoria state capital, Melbourne, after a two-year investigation by
state and federal police.
Officials allege the men collected funds for the Sri Lankan rebel
group by telling donors they were raising money funds for victims of the
2004 tsunami. Sri Lanka was among the hardest-hit of a dozen countries
struck by killer tsunami waves, triggered by a massive undersea
earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004.
The 230,000 people killed in the disaster included at least 35,000
Int. community lauded for steps to suppress LTTE
COLOMBO: Government Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya
Rambukwella yesterday thanked the international community for the
assistance extended to suppress LTTE terrorism in their countries.
Refuting claims by certain sections that the proscription of the LTTE
in many countries has brought no results, the Minister said many
countries have taken meaningful steps to curb LTTE terrorism.
“Credit should be given to the international community for
suppressing terrorism while showing concern about the human rights
situation in the country”, the Minister added.
The Minister said overwhelming support has been extended to the
Government in its bid to suppress LTTE activities with countries like
US, UK, EU, Canada and Australia taking steps to suppress terrorism.