The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), which claims to represent over 300,000 Tamils of Sri Lankan origin in Canada, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Sri Lankan-born terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna.
The lawsuit, filed here, stems from his allegedly defamatory statements made against the Canadian Tamil Congress in an interview to a Sri Lankan newspaper a few months ago.
In that interview to the Lakbima News, Gunaratna had alleged that the LTTE is “operating in Canada under the name of the Canadian Tamil Congress, which is the main LTTE front organization in Canada.”
An international terrorism expert who is frequently seen on major global TV networks, Gunaratna is a professor of security studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
In the interview, Gunaratna had also falsely said that the Canadian government is investigating that the “LTTE is operating under the name of Canadian Tamil Congress,” the lawsuit says.
According to the lawsuit, Gunaratna’s statements are defamatory and falsely portray the Canadian Tamil Congress as an entity through which the LTTE has conducted operations in Canada.
David Poopalapillai, the national spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress, said, “While the CTC’s mission is to work with various levels of government in Canada to address issues of significance to Tamil Canadians, it does not, and never has, functioned as the front in Canada for the LTTE movement.
“The Canadian Tamil Congress brought this lawsuit to combat the harm done to its reputation and ability to address issues of importance to Tamil Canadians as a result of Gunaratna’s statements.”
Poopalapillai and Umasuthan Suntharamoorthy, who is a director of the Canadian Tamil Congress, are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
A statement by the Canadian Tamil Congress said, “Gunaratna has been served with the statement of claim in Singapore but has not yet defended the lawsuit. Lakbima News, which published the allegedly defamatory interview with Gunaratna, is also a defendant and is aware of the allegations against it.”
There are over 300,000 Tamils of Sri Lankan origin in Canada, with most of them settled in the Toronto area