Q1: Why is the Government of Canada listing the LTTE (Tamil Tigers)?
A1: Canada has assessed the LTTE and determined that it is a terrorist group pursuant to the Criminal Code. Listing under the Criminal Code is a clear statement that anyone supporting the LTTE is not welcome in Canada and if they do support the terrorist activities of the LTTE, they can be subject to criminal prosecution.
The LTTE has been known to use terrorist methods and suicide bombings. Since the beginning of the conflict in Sri Lanka more than 20 years ago, over 64,000 deaths have occurred. The LTTE is known to engage in activities to further their terrorist objectives, such as fundraising and recruitment, which directly affect thousands of people in Sri Lanka, Canada and elsewhere. The Human Rights Watch report issued in mid-March, which concluded that Canadians of Tamil descent are being threatened with reprisals if they fail to contribute to the LTTE war chest, is but one such report.
The objective of the Criminal Code list is to help combat terrorist activities, including impeding terrorist financing. It is illegal for any person to provide support, facilitate or participate in the activities of a terrorist group. This includes providing any financial support.
In making this decision, Canada joins other countries that have already listed the LTTE as a terrorist entity, including the United States and United Kingdom.
Q2: What do we mean by terrorist activity?
A2: A terrorist activity is defined in section 83.01(1)(a) and 83.01(1)(b) of the Criminal Code as:
- an activity that is an offence under one of the UN anti-terrorism conventions and protocols listed in the Criminal Code; or
- an activity that is taken or threatened for political, religious or ideological purposes and threatens the public or national security by killing, seriously harming or endangering a person, causing substantial property damage that is likely to seriously harm people, or by interfering with or disrupting an essential service, facility or system as described in the Criminal Code.
Q3: What does this listing mean for the Tamil community in Canada?
A3: This listing is meant to support the Tamil community in Canada, who are 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 – where the rule of law and human rights are respected. Only a small minority of Tamils support the extreme tactics and measures which the LTTE uses.
Q4: Can members of the Tamil community living in Canada continue to sending money to family members living in Sri Lanka?
A4: Yes, providing money directly to family members can continue. The listing of the LTTE will have no effect on the Tamil community’s ability to provide financial to support to their family members living in Sri Lanka. Only donations to the LTTE are affected by this listing.
Q5: If an individual provides money to a front organization which is believed to be associated with the LTTE will that individual be charged under the Criminal Code?
A5: No, only donations to the LTTE are effected by this listing.
Q6: Is the listing of the LTTE going to affect Sri Lankans living in Canada from traveling back to Sri Lanka?
A6: Canadians residing in or traveling to Sri Lanka are encouraged to read DFAIT’s travel report for Sri Lanka available on the Consular Affairs website (www.voyage.gc.ca) and heed the government’s consular advice as well as the country specific recommendations for registering their presence with the High Commission in Colombo.
Q7: Is the LTTE active in Canada?
A7: The LTTE is known to engage in activities to further their terrorist objectives, such as fundraising and recruitment, which directly affect thousands of people in Sri Lanka, Canada and elsewhere. The Human Rights Watch report issued in mid-March, which concluded that Canadians of Tamil descent are being threatened with reprisals if they fail to contribute to the LTTE war chest, is but one such report.
Q8: How does this decision affect the peace process in Sri Lanka?
A8: The Government of Canada views this listing as a step towards advancing the peace process. The listing emphasizes Canada’s commitment to call on both parties to renounce violence and focus their energies on political negotiations leading to a permanent settlement. Canada will continue to work with international supporters of the peace process to help the parties reach a resolution.
Q9: Does the listing prevent Canadian aid organizations from working in Sri Lanka?
A9: No, it does not. Rather, the listing of the LTTE reinforces the importance of ensuring that Canada’s development assistance is not diverted to the LTTE. The Canadian International Development Agency has supported activities in LTTE territory for many years without such a diversion, and will continue to do so.