The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), which sued Sri Lanka-born terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna for linking it to the LTTE, has been awarded $53,000 by a Canadian court, the CTC said.
In a February 2011 article published by Lakbima News, Gunaratna was quoted as saying: “The LTTE is operating under the name of the Canadian Tamil Congress, which is the main LTTE front organization in Canada.”
Gunaratna had also written that “the Canadian government is aware of this and currently investigating” the group.
The CTC filed a defamation case against Gunaratna for linking it to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which was crushed by the Sri Lankan military in 2009.
In his judgment, Justice Stephen E. Firestone of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice here has ruled in favour of the CTC, awarding it $37,000 in damages and imposing $16,000 in costs on Gunaratna.
In his ruling, Justice Firestone said Gunaratna’s statements “were clearly defamatory, either directly or by innuendo, because they imply CTC is involved in the commission of violent and illegal activity…
“It is unequivocal and uncontroverted that these statements were, in fact, false and untrue.”
David Poopalapillai, National Spokesperson for CTC, applauded the court decision. “The Court’s decision is a vindication to CTC and its members and supporters. The surest way to attempt to destroy an ethnic group is to make its members afraid to even admit that they are part of that group for fear of being labelled terrorist sympathizers or terrorists themselves,” Poopalapillai continued. “The Sri Lankan government and its sympathizers have labelled all Tamils as terrorists for far too long—this judgment is a victory not only for CTC but for Tamils everywhere.”
Daniel Iny of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, legal counsel for CTC in the trial against Gunaratna, stated, “For a not-for-profit organization like CTC, its reputation is its lifeblood and its currency. The Court’s decision was an affirmation for CTC and its supporters in its recognition that Gunaratna’s words were plainly defamatory of CTC.”