Gas Week

EWN Publishing

All expatriate Tamils now dubbed “Terrorists”: all Australians who know persons of Tamil heritage, under Australian law, at risk of arrest for “association”

Posted by gasweek on 3 October, 2007

Four Australian Tamils were accused of funding a terrorist organisation after the Australian government had designated the Sri Lanka separatist movement Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a “terrorist” group, reported The Age (25/9/2007, p. 5).

Who do you know? The move might make all who were acquainted with, or who worked with or went to school with a person with Tamil heritage at risk of associating with terrorists, as expat Tamil Sri Lankans traditionally paid tithes to fund the movement.

Pressure to give: Dr Chris Smith, who has provided advice on Sri Lanka to the British Government, said few expatriate Tamils admitted supporting the Tigers but most donated part of their earnings to them. He said the Tigers had never admitted operating front organisations in Australia or elsewhere. “Sri Lankan Tamils residing outside Sri Lanka are known to come under wider extreme pressure to maintain consistent donations to the cause,” he said. The committal hearing, before magistrate Peter Reardon, continues.

Melbourne Magistrates Court hearing: According to Kate Hagan, Smith gave evidence to the Melbourne Magistrates Court last week on a video link from Brighton, England, in a committal hearing for three men charged with supplying money and equipment to the Tigers. They were accused of using the Melbourne-based Tamil Coordinating Committee as a vehicle to raise funds of more than $1 million for the Tigers.

Non-state procurement programs: In a report tendered to the court, Smith said the Tigers had developed one of the most complex, comprehensive non-state procurement programs in the world, backed by expatriate Tamils willing to provide money and contacts. “The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has emerged as perhaps the most successful terrorist organisation in the post-Cold War period, arguably even more successful than al-Qaeda in terms of organisation and efficiency,” Dr Smith said.

• Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 32, of Mount Waverley;

• Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, of Vermont South; and

• Arumugam Rajeevan, 41, of Old Toongabbie, NSW,

were charged with being members of a terrorist organisation between 2004 and 2007, and making funds available to it between 2002 and 2007.

The Age, 25/9/2007, p. 5

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