Canada to deport LTTE member to Sri Lanka

Toronto, Jan 17 (IANS) Canada will finally deport a former Tamil Tiger who raised funds for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Manickavasagam Suresh was sent by the LTTE to Canada in 1990 to serve as the coordinator of the World Tamil Movement to raise funds from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.

Canada’s federal court has upheld his deportation because he was a member of a terrorist organisation which Ottawa had banned. The court held that he was complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Tamil Tigers ran notorious fund-raising operations in Canada in the 1990s, with the World Tamil Movement serving as their front. Their fund-raising operations sometimes amounted to extortion.

Suresh was arrested in 1995 and ordered to be deported to Sri Lanka. But his deportation was stopped by the Canadian Supreme Court on the grounds that he faced torture on his return to Sri Lanka.

But in 2008 when Canada banned the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada ordered his deportation in 2015 on the grounds that he was inadmissible in Canada because his membership of a terrorist organisation.

He appealed in the federal court of appeal against his deportation. But the court has now upheld the decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to deport him to Sri Lanka.

Suresh will be the first high-profile former Tamil Tiger to return to Sri Lanka since the end of the ethnic conflict in 2009.

Canada is home to the largest Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.

–IANS

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