The National Post reported that according to a “Secret” Canada Border Services Agency report filed in Federal Court, the Kandasamy temple, in east-end Toronto, is controlled by the World Tamil Movement, which is on the Canadian government’s list of terrorist organizations.
The allegation surfaced publicly two weeks ago during court proceedings over one of the temple priests. The CBSA’s National Security Screening Division concluded the Sri Lankan refugee had been a member of the LTTE, also a listed terrorist group.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is still reviewing his case but the CBSA’s July 2013 Inadmissibility Assessment noted his employment at the Canada Kandasamy Temple (CKT), which it said “is controlled by the World Tamil Movement,” the Canadian front organization for the LTTE.
“The WTM took forcible control of the CKT,” the CBSA wrote. “This temple with many facilities for public functions has become a cash cow for the LTTE and continues to function as one even now. The premises are also used indiscriminately for the LTTE and WTM propaganda and other meetings overlooking the fact that it is a place of worship.”
Thanabalasingam Kanagasabpathy, a longtime volunteer and director of the Scarborough temple’s governing society, said the CBSA was wrong. “This is not LTTE,” he said, as the candle smoke cleared following a recent weekday service.
The temple was a public facility and anyone could come to pray, he said, adding it was not his place to ask their political affiliations. “Actually, WTM people, sometimes they are coming to pray. How can I say don’t come here?”
The WTM’s former spokesman, Nehru Gunaratnam, was photographed at the temple last January, holding a microphone as he addressed the Ontario premier, one of her caucus MPPs and a Toronto city councillor. A video of the event showed Gunaratnam saying he was speaking on behalf of the temple. He then read out the text of an award from the temple, which he handed to the temple president, who gave it to the premier.
A 2006 report by Human Rights Watch, Funding the Final War, alleged the LTTE had “sought control” of temples in Toronto and London because they “provide both ready access to the Tamil community and to a potential source of funds.”
The rebels made “systematic efforts” to take over temple management structures, it said, adding that a Toronto temple trustee had described how his group was approached by the LTTE for $1 million to finance the Tamil independence war.
Aside from a poster at the front entrance advertising Tamil Heroes Day on Nov. 27, an annual commemoration of fallen rebels that usually features the militaristic LTTE flag, a reporter who dropped by unannounced saw no rebel insignia. And despite the CBSA’s assessment, the temple is a charity in good standing. The Canada Revenue Agency declined to comment. (Colombo Gazette)