Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 16, 2008 13:17 ET

The Government of Canada Lists the World Tamil Movement as a Terrorist Organization

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2008) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that the Government of Canada has listed the World Tamil Movement (WTM) as a terrorist group, effective June 13, 2008, pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada.

"The Government is once again taking decisive action to protect Canadians from terrorism and to safeguard our nation's security," said Minister Day. "Listing the WTM, which is the leading front organization for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Canada, is an important step in ensuring our safety and security in the global fight against terrorism."

The decision to list the WTM meets the legal threshold set out in the Criminal Code, which requires the existence of reasonable grounds to believe that the entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity or is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction, or in association with such an entity.

The listing of the WTM is meant to support the Tamil Community of Canada, which consists of law-abiding and hard working people who have left their country of origin to build a better life for themselves and their families in Canada. The Government is taking this step to help ensure that Canadians, including the Tamil community are protected from the activities of this organization.

The WTM, created in 1986, is the leading front organization for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Canada. The various offices of the WTM in Canada transfer funds to bank accounts in Sri Lanka meant for the LTTE. The leadership of the WTM acts at the direction of leaders of the LTTE. WTM representatives canvas areas in Canada with large Tamil populations demanding large donations on behalf of the LTTE. Refusals to contribute often lead to threats and intimidation.

The objective of the listing is to help combat terrorist activities, including impeding terrorist financing. For example, the listing prohibits all persons in Canada as well as every Canadian abroad from knowingly dealing with assets owned or controlled by the WTM. In addition, it is an offence to knowingly participate in, contribute to, or facilitate certain activities of a listed entity. Other related offences are set out in the Criminal Code.

The listing process requires extensive analysis of security and/or criminal information and intelligence to ensure that the decision to list meets the legal threshold.

The names of listed entities under the Criminal Code can be found on the Public Safety Canada Web site at www.publicsafety.gc.ca under National Security, Listed Entities.

Contact Information

  • Public Safety Canada
    Media Relations
    613-991-0657
    or
    Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications
    613-991-2863
    or
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
    613-995-1874