Canada polls: Last person to call ‘KP’ before his arrest now in the fray - Tamil sources say Paranchothy received the backing of top Conservative politicos

By Shamindra Ferdinando

A close contact of Thambiaiya Selvarasa Pathmanathan is contesting the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Canada. A Canadian citizen of Sri Lankan origin Gavan Paranchothy aka Ragavan Paranchothy, is running on the ruling Conservative Party ticket for the House of Commons in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, which has a large Tamil population.

In an exclusive interview with ‘The Island’ in July last year, Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’ said that Malaysian security personnel had swooped down on him at First Tune Hotel on 316 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman Road, Kuala Lumpur as he was talking with Ragavan, a Canada-based broadcaster with CMR Radio. Pathmanathan said that LTTE ‘Political Wing" leader S. Nadesan’s brother and brother’s son had been with him at the hotel, when he received a call from Ragavan on Aug. 5, 2009.

The next day Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor Pathmanathan was flown to Colombo by Sri Lankan Intelligence.

However, Paranchothy recently told the Canadian press that he had returned a call from Malaysia on Aug. 5 2009 and he didn’t know whether he was talking to ‘KP’ or one of his assistants.

Sri Lankan security officials said that Paranchothy had hosted a pro-LTTE television show last November to celebrate the Tigers’ Heroes Day in spite of the group being a proscribed organization in Canada.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha recently warned of the threat posed by the Tamil Diaspora spearheaded by the LTTE rump taking advantage of the political system to enhance its power.

Ambassador Aryasinha told the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA) on Mar. 23, 2011: "No doubt a complicating factor host governments will have to grapple with, is that particularly as the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora communities convert themselves into vote banks and could have a political bearing in marginal constituencies in Europe, that the political establishments in these countries will invariably come under greater pressure, to ignore the activities of the LTTE/ its front organizations operating on European soil."

Aryasinha went on to say: "Given that there can no longer be a dichotomy in the manner terrorist and criminality related issues are treated across the globe between the law enforcement /criminal justice community on the one hand, and the political community on the other, there should not be a disconnection between these respective institutions of Governance on how to deal with this growing problem.

It is important that European States and Institutions do not provide any political or symbolic support, nor should they be fooled by the false pretences of those continuing to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka "through peaceful means", while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders".

Canada based Tamil sources told ‘The Island’ that since the revelation of Paranchothy’s alleged connection with the LTTE, the Canadian Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper had come under pressure to explain his decision to accommodate a known LTTE activist on his nomination list.

The Canadian press last week quoted Harper as saying that his Conservative Party holds "a strong position against the Tamil Tigers." His government banned the Tigers in 2006, despite days of protests by Tamil immigrants in Ottawa. Tigers’ aid agency, the World Tamil Movement, was suppressed in 2008.

Still, federal police and security agencies claim the Tamil Tigers raise money in Canada and smuggling rings bring wanted Tamil terrorists to Canada.

Sri Lankan officials allege that foreign governments with large groups of Tamil Diaspora are seeking to win their votes by nominating members of the community in spite of their links to the LTTE. They say the Sri Lankan Tamil community in Canada is involved in the polls campaign in a big way. "They have the wherewithal to promote political parties in Canada. This is not an isolated situation but happening in many parts of the world," sources said.

Sources alleged that Paranchothy had also met Pathmanatahn in Malaysia. Responding to a query by The Island, a senior Sri Lankan intelligence official said whatever the post-war differences among various factions, all of them stand for a separate state in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The bottom line was that their aim was the same. "They still believe in spite of losing their conventional military capability, they still stand an opportunity to achieve their eelam dream by other means."

Sources said that before Malaysia had handed over Pathmanathan to Sri Lanka, there had been a determined bid to unite all factions under one banner. Paranchothy had met both Pathmanathan and Nediyawan in Malaysia and Norway, respectively in the immediate aftermath of Tigers’ collapse on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May 2009, to settle differences.

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