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Two articles on TAMIL Terrorism

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  • seyedas@hotmail.com
    June 1, 2002 Blood money on tap Stewart Bell National Post Each year, millions of dollars are funnelled from Canada through front organizations to terrorist
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2002
      June 1, 2002

      Blood money on tap

      Stewart Bell
      National Post

      Each year, millions of dollars are funnelled from Canada through front
      organizations to terrorist groups throughout the world, such as the
      Tamil Tigers. In this exclusive excerpt from a new book of essays about
      Canada's declining international influence, National Post reporter
      Stewart Bell examines how these deadly funds are raised and distributed.

      With its stately colonial buildings, ancient temples and lush tropical
      gardens, Colombo seems an Earthly paradise at first look. But the scars
      of two decades of ethnic conflict are not easily concealed. In the
      downtown business district, the skeletons of bombed office buildings
      line the streets near the Indian Ocean -- memorials to the wave of
      terrorist attacks that have struck the city.

      Although far from the front lines of Sri Lanka's civil war, Colombo
      still has the uneasy feel of a city under siege. Military checkpoints
      slow traffic at intersections, armed soldiers hang from buses to prevent
      terrorists from planting bombs and government buildings are guarded like
      fortresses, as are the homes of prominent politicians.

      Concrete patches cover the corner of the Hotel Galidari that was bombed
      in 1997 by Tamil Tiger separatists targeting the U.S. servicemen staying
      there. Outside the Prime Minister's house, there is a crevice gouged in
      the wall where a Tiger operative detonated his suicide vest. Across the
      street, a black statue marks the spot where the Security Minister was
      standing when he was blown apart by a suicide bomber.

      The grass is scorched brown on the lawn where President Chandrika
      Kumaratunga was giving an election speech in December, 1999, when a
      Tiger suicide bomber made an attempt on her life. "Let's pray," says
      Rafeeq, a Colombo banker blinded in a 1997 terrorist attack on his
      downtown office building, "that these types of things will come to an
      end."

      Colombo is the capital of a Commonwealth democracy that has experienced
      a level of terrorism unimaginable to outsiders. It is also the most
      striking example of how terrorism and insurgency around the world is
      financed from Canada. Extremists within Canadian immigrant and refugee
      communities send millions of dollars abroad annually to bankroll
      political and religious violence, and despite warnings by police and
      intelligence agents, federal politicians in Ottawa largely ignored the
      problem for more than a decade.

      Fundraising for terrorism was not outlawed in Canada until public
      outrage at the Sept. 11 attacks and pressure from the Americans finally
      forced the government into action.

      The legislation came so late, however, that Canada had already become
      among the top sources of foreign currency for such groups as the Tamil
      Tigers.

      The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, is a cult-like band of
      guerrillas that employs the gruesome tactics of terrorism. According to
      Canadian security agencies, the LTTE has assassinated more than 100
      politicians, carried out more suicide bombings than all other militant
      groups in the world combined, and murdered the democratically- elected
      leaders of two nations, India and Sri Lanka.

      It is also, to a large extent, tacitly aided and financed by supporters
      in Canada. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service estimates that up
      to $2-million a year is clandestinely funnelled to the Tigers' military
      purchasing arm from front organizations in Canada. But the total amount
      could be 10 to 20 times that sum once the proceeds of organized crime
      are factored in.

      Since the days of Lester B. Pearson, Canadians have liked to think of
      themselves as international peacekeepers, the heroes in the blue berets.
      In Sri Lanka, and in countries such as Israel and even the United
      States, Canada is seen increasingly as a war financier, supplying the
      cash and other support that sustains political and religious violence,
      keeping self-styled freedom fighters outfitted with weaponry and
      ensuring a continued surfeit of misery for civilians and the soldiers
      alike.

      Through negligence and indifference, the Canadian government has
      permitted virtually every major terrorist organization in the world to
      operate within its borders. Canada's failure to disrupt the terrorists
      on its soil has resulted in major security problems for Canada's
      neighbours and some of its closest allies.

      Canada's failure has also caused severe troubles within Canada's refugee
      communities, where militants have hijacked cultural organizations and
      religious institutions for their own ends. And it has helped create an
      international climate in which global terrorist organizations such as
      JDL (Jewish Defence League) have thrived.

      Canada may not be the only nation that has been negligent on this front,
      but for a country its size, Canada harbours far more terrorists than it
      should, possibly more in proportion than any other Western industrial
      power. As a result, even as it has sought to portray itself as tough on
      terrorism, Canada's international reputation has suffered because it is
      seen increasingly as a source of terrorism.

      While federal politicians including Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister,
      continue to deny that Canada is a terrorist "safe haven," the problem is
      spelled out in stacks of Federal Court case files, immigration and
      refugee files, CSIS reports, RCMP intelligence briefs, Security
      Intelligence Review Committee reports and records from criminal
      prosecutions in other jurisdictions, notably France and the United
      States.

      Perhaps most convincing are the admissions of terrorists themselves, who
      have confessed not only to using Canada as a base for violence abroad,
      but also to plotting attacks within Canada. When these fragments of
      intelligence are pieced together, they form a window into the terrorist
      underworld that operates within the country.

      Terrorist groups use Canada as a staging ground to plan and carry out
      attacks, as a base for hiding out before and after operations and as a
      source of recruits. Most common in Canada are terrorist-bureaucrats,
      those involved in support activity, mundane but nonetheless crucial, who
      feed the larger international organization. That includes the theft and
      doctoring of passports, purchase of matériel with military applications,
      spreading of propaganda, political lobbying and pressure and,
      particularly, fundraising.

      Terrorist fundraising is conducted partly through non-profit
      organizations that purport to be involved in various types of
      humanitarian or community work but that in practice serve as fronts for
      extremist groups. In some cases, these organizations may be involved in
      legitimate work that masks their clandestine support for extremist
      violence.

      Less often, the broader organization may be unaware that it is being
      used as a cover for illicit activities. Relief organizations, religious
      institutions, immigrant and multicultural groups and religious schools
      have fronted for terrorism in Canada, as have businesses. Some have been
      funded by various levels of government.

      Outside the extremist core, mainstream supporters of these fronts may
      have no idea the money they are donating -- or a portion of it, at least
      -- is being diverted to finance political or religious violence. The
      extremists convince their supporters that the money is going to widows
      and orphans, or other worthy causes. While some, if not most, of the
      collections may in fact end up financing legitimate work, a portion is
      tacitly laundered into violence. Such blending of accounts is a
      deliberate tactic designed to throw investigators off the scent of blood
      money.

      In Canada, the first to make proficient use of fronts were Sikh
      militants in British Columbia, who took control of temples and community
      organizations in the 1980s and used them as a pulpit to advance the
      cause of Khalistan, the sought-after Sikh homeland in India. Their
      methods were soon mirrored by Kurdish separatists, various Jewish
      militant organizations, as well as Tamil extremists from Sri Lanka.

      The World Tamil Movement (WTM) office in Toronto occupies the second
      floor of a strip mall, overlooking a row of shops selling South Asian
      wares -- jewellery, saris, fish and meat. The red and yellow banner
      draped in the window bears a distinctive emblem: the head of a roaring
      tiger. The LTTE logo is the only outward hint the office is affiliated
      with ethnic violence half a world away.

      The WTM is the principal Tamil Tigers support organization in the world
      as well as in Canada. A secret list of "LTTE front organizations in
      Canada" compiled by the Canadian intelligence service lists the WTM at
      the top, along with the Ellesmere Road address of the strip mall, as
      well as seven other non-profit associations in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal
      and Vancouver: The Tamil Eelam Society of Canada, Tamil Rehabilitation
      Organization, Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils, Tamil
      Coordinating Committee, Eelam Tamil Association of British Columbia,
      World Tamil Movement (Montreal chapter) and the Eelam Tamil Association
      of Quebec.

      The LTTE operates a taxation system in Canada that extorts money from
      Tamil families and businesses. The RCMP reported in 1999 that "new Tamil
      refugees in Canada are traditionally contacted by Tamil Tigers from
      organizations [that] promote LTTE interests and collect funds. LTTE
      sympathizers in Canada are under pressure to provide funding to the
      Tigers in Sri Lanka. All Tamils are encouraged to donate 50¢ each day to
      the LTTE."

      While terrorists often rely on rallies and charity events to raise
      money, legitimate businesses have played an increasingly important role
      in fundraising. According to Canadian intelligence, the LTTE's chief
      procurement officer established two import-export companies in Toronto
      to launder money raised by the World Tamil Movement and other fronts
      back to his base in Thailand. "Although there are no official profit
      figures available for these companies there is some indication that they
      are highly lucrative and the LTTE is becoming increasingly dependent on
      these types of ventures to supply their war coffers," CSIS says.

      The LTTE global fundraising and weapons network is so successful that
      there are fears it could become a template for other terrorist and
      insurgent forces. What is unique about the Tigers is that, by behaving,
      in turn, like an international corporation and an organized crime
      syndicate, they have been able to build a frighteningly potent fighting
      machine. And they have done so almost completely on their own, without
      the assistance of a benevolent state sponsor. Aside from some initial
      assistance from India, the Tigers have done it alone, and if they can do
      it from the relative isolation of northern Sri Lanka, so can any other
      extremist organization determined to cause mayhem.

      The Canadian system has played right into the hands of such political
      extremists. Migrants can be remarkably vulnerable when they first arrive
      in a new country. They are disoriented, unfamiliar with the way things
      work. The government directs them to heavily politicized immigrant
      societies that have agendas that extend well beyond their mandate to
      provide language services and foreign aid. The bulk of these non-profit
      organizations are ethnic-based, serving one particular migrant group,
      and as a result have been vulnerable to being taken over by those with
      political agendas originating in their homelands.

      As Western countries have begun to crack down on terrorist- front
      fundraising activities, realizing they are the lifeblood of terrorism,
      extremists have increasingly turned to organized crime to earn their
      blood money and launder it overseas. Police are now finding that
      organized crime investigations lead more and more to associates of
      terrorist groups rather than mobsters or bikers.

      Crime proceeds are a crucial source of funds for the Tamil Tigers.
      Street gangs composed of former rebel fighters serve as enforcers for
      the LTTE in Toronto. In the 1990s, Toronto police began noticing they
      were getting called increasingly to investigate violent crimes in which
      the common denominator was that both the victims and the criminals were
      of Sri Lankan origin.

      They suspected a new organized crime group was emerging, bringing with
      it the same problems they had encountered when Asian-based crime first
      came to Canada in the 1980s. Motives, witnesses and suspects were
      elusive and language and cultural barriers were frustrating
      investigators. In response, the Tamil Task Force was established, at
      first as a pilot project but then as a regular part of the police
      intelligence unit, working closely with the RCMP and Citizenship
      Immigration Canada.

      The task force soon discovered that Sri Lankan organized crime had its
      roots in South Asia. The key players, rival gangs called the VVT and
      A.K. Kannan, were aligned with warring Tamil factions back in Sri Lanka.
      A.K. Kannan, which has an estimated 300 members, derives its name from
      the AK-47 military assault rifle, the preferred weapon of Tamil
      guerrillas.

      A.K. Kannan's main rival is the VVT, short for Valvedditurai, the
      birthplace of the Tigers movement as well as its leader, Vellupillai
      Prabhakaran. The VVT is the principal pro-LTTE gang in Canada, with a
      strength of 350 to 500. The gang leaders are current or former Tiger
      guerrillas and remain loyal to the rebels, serving as their
      money-collectors and street muscle in Tamil neighbourhoods of Toronto.

      "Members of the VVT will act as enforcers for the political
      representatives of the LTTE in Canada," the Tamil Task Force said in its
      February, 1998, report. "Extensive links and associations between the
      VVT and LTTE are common knowledge in the Tamil community." The officer
      in charge of the RCMP's Immigration and Passport section in Milton,
      Ont., said the "Tamil Tigers control every aspect of Tamil gang life in
      Toronto."

      In addition to the two main gangs, there are a number of smaller ones.
      RCMP Sergeant Fred Bowen alone has referred more than 200 Tamil gang
      members to the Immigration Department for deportation. All told, there
      are an estimated 1,000 gang members. Toronto police and the RCMP
      estimate there are from 5,000 to 8,000 trained Tamil guerrillas in
      Toronto. "These persons are known to have had extensive paramilitary
      training in the use of automatic weapons, hand-to-hand combat, Russian
      RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and other offensive weapons and
      substances," the Task Force said. "Many of these have been used in the
      Greater Toronto Area to carry out their projects."

      The gang extortion racket in Canada, in which pro-LTTE crime groups
      collect "donations," is imported from the homeland, where the Tigers
      initiated a taxation system on families, businesses and criminal
      enterprise in the areas under their control. Tamils in Toronto often
      complain about gang youths who go door-to-door at night collecting
      money, often with threats.

      Aside from extortion, the Canadian gangs have been involved in home
      invasions, kidnapping, attempted murder, passport theft, counterfeiting,
      fraud, auto theft and murders. The gangs take turns attacking each
      other's hangouts in drive-by shootings, usually using sawed-off
      shotguns, a deadly turf war that has turned parts of Toronto into a
      shooting gallery.

      Police have had poor success tackling the gangs. The gangs respect what
      one officer describes as a "bond of silence," a tacit agreement that
      neither side will go to police if they are victimized. As a result, gang
      members are charged but seldom convicted. Non-gang members are also
      unwilling to come forward or testify as witnesses. Those that do are
      often threatened.

      Tamils in Toronto are told explicitly not to go to police to report
      crimes because doing so might hurt the cause of Tamil separatism, both
      politically and financially, and could result in the withdrawal of
      government funds to non-profit organizations, the RCMP says. One gang
      circulated a flyer in the Tamil language offering a reward to anyone who
      could help locate Crown witnesses.

      On the few occasions witnesses have testified against gang members,
      other gangsters have sat in the courtroom holding up photos of the
      witnesses' children and elderly relatives. "Many of the Tamils in the
      Greater Toronto Area live in fear of the gangs and the various extremist
      groups residing in their communities and few will testify or complain to
      the police," says an RCMP report.

      This silence in the name of self-preservation is a trait imported from
      Sri Lanka, where Tamils dare not speak up for fear of retribution from
      the LTTE. The gangs, particularly the VVT, have served to keep a lid on
      community opposition to the LTTE and its front activities in Canada. The
      Tigers want to keep the appearance that Tamils are united in their
      support for the Eelam separatist struggle.

      But like any ethnic group, Sri Lankan Tamils are divided over such
      issues as independence and the use of violence. The threat of gang
      violence, however, has succeeded in silencing dissent. The other role of
      the gangs has been, of course, to raise money for the cause. The
      consistent pattern of Tamil gang activity has been its unflinching
      devotion to money-making schemes. "The gangs are doing anything for
      money," Sgt. Bowen said.

      One of their most-shocking money-making schemes surfaced in May, 2001,
      when the Ontario Labour Relations Board revealed that two VVT members
      with criminal records had been hired by a metal works company shortly
      before its 90 employees were to vote on whether to form a union. Gang
      members known as Kuti and Kodi began working at the company, which makes
      steel doors and frames, on Nov. 6, 1998, the day the union filed notice
      it was holding a certification vote. The two gangsters threatened to
      kill employees if the union vote was successful.

      "If the company wins, no problem," Kuti told one worker. "If the company
      loses, you will not live thereafter. You will not be alive. Tell the
      others also."

      "You don't know me," he went on. "I will do what I've said."

      "If the union wins you, will be killed outside. We won't do anything
      now, but if the union wins we will do it."

      Following a complaint by the United Steelworkers of America, the Labour
      Relations Board did not determine who was responsible for the "brief
      campaign of terror" but said "at the end of the day it does not
      particularly matter who specifically in management was involved. What
      matters, and what I think is obvious from the evidence, is that Kuti and
      Kodi were recruited by the company's management to discourage the Sri
      Lankan employees from voting for the union."

      The LTTE's willingness to engage in union-busting shows that
      terrorist-affiliated gangs are a threat not only to the democratic
      institutions of Sri Lanka, but also those of Canada. When terrorist
      extremists become guns for hire, renting their reputations and ruthless
      tactics to the highest bidder, that constitutes a startling attack on
      democracy.

      To make matters worse, some Liberal MPs openly support groups such as
      the Tamil Tigers. Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis has attended Tamil Tigers
      support functions. Paul Martin and Maria Minna were guest speakers at a
      May, 2000, dinner hosted by the Federation of Associations of Canadian
      Tamils, despite warnings the group was a front for the Tigers.
      Citizenship Immigration Canada gives $2-million annually to the Tamil
      Eelam society, which CSIS considers a terrorist front. When the deputy
      minister of Immigration tried to cut off the group's government
      financing in 1997, she was overruled by Lucienne Robillard, then
      minister of Immigration. "We are to forget everything," an Immigration
      official later advised colleagues.

      "I do not believe that Canadians want their country to be known as a
      place from which terrorist acts elsewhere are funded or fomented," Ward
      Elcock, director of CSIS, testified in 1998. "We cannot ever become
      known as some R and R facility for terrorists. In other words, and I
      will be as blunt as I can be, we cannot become, through inaction or
      otherwise, what might be called an unofficial state sponsor of
      terrorism." But one might argue that Canada, through its longstanding
      parliamentary inaction, has already become an unofficial terrorism
      sponsor.

      Public outrage over the Sept. 11 sbell@...; Abridged from
      "Blood Money: International Terrorist Fundraising in Canada," by Stewart
      Bell, a chapter in Canada Among Nations 2002: A Fading Power, edited by
      Norman Hillmer and Maureen Appel Molot. Copyright © Oxford University
      Press Canada 2002. Reprinted with permission

      http://www.nationalpost.com/search/story.html?f=/stories/20020601/417183.html&qs=tamil

      =========================================================================================================

      Minister vetoed bid to stop Tamil funding Secret memo: Group says audits
      show no misuse of public money



      May 29, 2002

      Stewart Bell
      National Post

      Federal officials tried to cut off government funding to a Toronto
      non-profit group because of suspicions it was financing terrorism but
      were told to back off after the matter went to a Cabinet minister,
      internal documents reveal.

      In a memo stamped "secret", the deputy minister of immigration asked the
      immigration minister to approve the department's decision to stop
      financing the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada over concerns it was tied to
      terrorism.

      But the matter was declared "dead" soon after it went to Lucienne
      Robillard, then minister of immigration. "We are to forget everything,"
      one official wrote. Another called the turnaround "strange."

      Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) subsequently audited the group
      and could find no misuse of money. It has since increased federal
      contributions to the agency, named after the independent state sought by
      Sri Lankan guerrillas. But the head of immigration intelligence
      continued to argue there was ample evidence to connect the group to the
      Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lankan insurgent group
      that specializes in suicide bombings.

      The case hints at tensions between bureaucrats and politicians in Ottawa
      -- as well as between federal agencies -- over how to deal with
      terrorism concerns within Canada. Such divisions are said to be heated
      at the moment as the government is compiling its list of groups to be
      designated under Canada's new counter-terrorism laws.

      Although the Immigration Department is the Tamil Eelam society's main
      source of money, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has listed
      the group as a front for the Tamil Tigers terrorist group. The RCMP,
      too, has tied the society to the Tamil Tigers.

      The society has shared offices with the Federation of Associations of
      Canadian Tamils (FACT), which the Canadian government argues is a
      terrorist front. The society's leader was also until recently the FACT
      leader. The society is a member of FACT.

      The Immigration Department has consistently defended its financing of
      the society. But newly released internal documents show the department's
      top civil servant urged a Liberal minister to cut the group's government
      funding.

      In February, 1997, Janice Cochrane, the deputy immigration minister,
      sent a secret memo to Ms. Robillard, who was then the minister,
      requesting "your approval to not renew the settlement contribution
      agreements with the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada (TESC)."

      The memo said the society, which was getting more than $1-million a year
      from the Immigration Department to run language and settlement programs
      for new immigrants, had been accused of financing ethnic Tamil
      terrorism.

      "There have been third party allegations made that TESC was diverting
      public funds to terrorist activities," the memo said. "Initial
      monitoring and review of TESC activities indicated that it was operating
      within the terms of the contribution agreements and did not reveal any
      financial improprieties."

      After sections of the memo that were censored by the Immigration
      Department, Ms. Cochrane writes: "Given the above, it is recommended
      that CIC cease to be involved with TESC through contribution
      agreements."

      The memo further advised that the government of Ontario, Human Resources
      Development Canada and Heritage Canada, which were also funding the
      society, should be informed of the decision.

      "Should the decision be made not to renew CIC funding, I recommend that
      you apprise your Honorable colleagues Pierre Pettigrew and Hedy Fry of
      your decision on this case. Two letters are attached for this purpose."

      The deputy minister concluded her memo by again urging the minister to
      permanently stop government funding of the society. "I recommend that
      CIC let the current contribution agreement expire and that CIC not enter
      into new agreements with TESC in the future."

      She further asked Ms. Robillard to act quickly so the Tamil agency could
      issue notices of termination to its employees.

      Despite the recommendation of the top civil servant in the Immigration
      Department, the matter was dropped after it went to Ms. Robillard's
      office.

      Details of the Minister's response to the recommendation were not
      released. But on April 28, an official sent out an e-mail saying he had
      "just received word that we are to forget everything and that it is
      business as usual."

      "It has been a very hot and complex issue right from the beginning, with
      strange turnarounds," another official wrote. "The issue may one day
      resuscitate, but yes, the group for now can continue to be funded
      without cause for alarm." Another official wrote: "CIC's position now is
      that it's business as usual and that this issue is dead."

      No explanation is given in the documents for the abrupt decision to back
      off the group. But four months later the top intelligence official
      within the department was still calling for action. "Apparently, Gary
      Blachford [the head of immigration intelligence] is convinced that there
      is enough evidence to cease funding of the organization," an e-mail
      said.

      Another official responded that the evidence was based on
      "association.... The issue that Gary apparently is concerned about is
      what do we do if it hits the press. We have had concerns about this all
      along but the same can be said if our ducks are not all in a row and we
      cease funding. It may very well hit the press then too.

      "We also have to remember that the person who sent the letter originally
      [making the allegations] provided no proof when interviewed."

      Ms. Robillard's office declined comment yesterday on the grounds she is
      no longer immigration minister.

      Secret documents concerning the bureaucracy's attempt to strip the
      society's government funding were recently released to the National Post
      under the Access to Information Act. The Immigration Department took
      more than a year to comply with the newspaper's request for the records.

      An immigration spokesman said the change of course reflected a
      difference of opinion between the department and the minister's office
      over how to handle the "serious allegations" of the society's
      involvement in terrorism.

      The main issue was whether the department should take pre-emptive action
      against the society or await the outcome of an audit. In the end, the
      department opted for the latter course, he said.

      "It's not unreasonable that there would be differing viewpoints from
      people," said Doug Kellam, an immigration media officer. "The audit did
      follow and the audit did conclude that there was no misuse of funds."

      The Tamil Eelam society provides government-funded settlement services,
      such as language and employment training, for Sri Lankan immigrants. But
      it is also openly supportive of the Tamil Tigers, a separatist group in
      Sri Lanka that has orchestrated many terrorist attacks.

      Sita Sittampalam, the society president, and until recently the FACT
      president as well, said the group is careful to separate its political
      activity from its function as a contractor providing government
      settlement services.

      He said he was not aware of the memo, but said his group had been
      audited twice and no misuse of money had been found. If the auditors had
      discovered any problems, the government would have ceased its funding,
      he said. "If there was something wrong, they would stop."

      The Immigration Department, however, has put the group on a three-month
      contract rather than an annual one, which Mr. Sittampalam said was a
      response to complaints by those trying to "tarnish" the society with
      terrorist links.

      The society has long faced accusations of links to the Tigers. Two years
      ago, an RCMP intelligence report claimed a Tamil Eelam society leader
      arranged for a European LTTE representative -- an assassin known as
      Shukla -- to visit Canada in 1998 to broker a peace deal between rival
      Tamil gangs.

      "We do support the LTTE," Mr. Sittampalam said in an Australian
      television documentary broadcast in October, 2000. "We support it as a
      means of getting our rights and our right to self-determination -- we
      support the LTTE."

      The recommendation to the minister to end the group's funding was
      preceded by a heavy volume of meetings and reports involving several
      federal agencies, including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

      The Immigration Department made preparations on the understanding the
      minister would approve the recommendation -- even to the extent of
      preparing a communications plan to respond to the Tamil society's
      reaction.

      "We are vulnerable on two fronts," the media plan said. "The NGOs
      [non-governmental organizations] and ethnic community may feel that our
      action is not supported ... while the Reform party may complain that we
      have not done enough early enough in view of the period over which we
      have continued to fund TESC."

      A briefing note for the solicitor-general warned that, because no
      evidence of financial impropriety or mismanagement had been found, the
      government's decision "could be viewed as discriminatory and biased
      against the larger Tamil community."

      Three days after the memo was sent to the minister, one official warned
      that the Tamil society "and other advocacy groups associated with it
      would take a very aggressive public stand to the minister, to the
      department and to the media in challenging CIC's decision."

      http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20020529/379344.html
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