7:40 AM

Tigers sought C$ 3 million from Canada

RCMP counterterrorism investigators in Toronto have seized a letter signed by the leader of the LTTE directing Canadian Tamils to send him $3-million, according to police files released yesterday by the Federal Court.

The leader's letter, found during a search of the Toronto office of the World Tamil Movement, discusses the need to "intensify the struggle" and ensure that Tamils are "strong enough" to fight "with our full breath," according to the newly unsealed files.

Velupillai Prabhakaran adds that he looks "forward to receiving substantial contribution from the displaced people of Tamil Eelam" and advises the "Canadian office" to provide 15 of the 100 "crores" he needs. A crore is the equivalent of just over $200,000.

The RCMP cited the 2002 letter as evidence the WTM is the "Canadian branch" of the Tigers, a rebel group fighting a war against Sri Lankan government forces.

Also known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, the Tigers are an outlawed terrorist group in Canada because of tactics that include suicide bombings and political killings.
The solicitation from Prabhakaran is contained in hundreds of pages of materials the RCMP took to a Federal Court judge last month as part of an application to seize the WTM's bank accounts. The judge approved the seizures.

The documents remained sealed until yesterday, although some parts remain blacked out. Last Friday, the courts released documents concerning a related investigation into the WTM office in Montreal.

The documents detailing the Montreal and Toronto terrorist financing investigations (some of which were revealed in the National Post on Saturday and Monday) provide the first indication the Canadian Tamil groups serve as "foreign branches" of the Tigers, police claim. The documents also spell out the money trail, showing how the WTM has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Quebec and Ontario and shipped it overseas, allegedly to pay for arms and other materials for the Tamil independence struggle - although WTM officials deny the claims and no charges have been laid.