Tamil Tiger fundraiser jailed for six months in Canada

"This is a serious offence," said Justice Robert Powers, noting the "great harm to all Sri Lankans" from the violence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Prapaharan Thambithurai, 46, was the first person to be charged under new Canadian legislation against financing foreign terrorist organisations. He had been out on bail since shortly after police arrested him in Vancouver in 2008.

He pleaded guilty in British Columbia Supreme Court earlier this week to one charge of "providing financial services, knowing that they will benefit a terrorist group, namely the (LTTE)." In 2009 Sri Lankan government forces crushed the Tigers, ending a 30-year civil war.

The judge, acknowledging there was no precedent in the case, denied requests by defence lawyers for a three-year suspended sentence, and by the prosecution for two years in jail. "I'm not satisfied that a suspended sentence would meet the needs of deterrence," said Powers, adding that Canada attracts refugees because of the country's "civility and respect for the rule of law."

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