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Lawsuit alleges defamation of Canadian Tamil Congress by Rohan GunaratnaSalem-News.com
“The CTC 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.”
(TORONTO) - The Canadian Tamil Congress (“CTC”) has commenced a lawsuit in Ontario against Rohan Gunaratna for defamation, following allegedly defamatory statements Gunaratna made about the CTC in February 2011 to a newspaper published in Sri Lanka.
The lawsuit alleges that Gunaratna, a Professor of Security Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, stated in an interview which appeared in Lakbima News, a Sri-Lankan newspaper, that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (“LTTE”) is “operating in Canada under the name of Canadian Tamil Congress, which is the main LTTE front Organization in Canada.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Gunaratna stated that the Canadian government is investigating that the “LTTE is operating under the name of Canadian Tamil Congress”.
The lawsuit alleges that Gunaratna’s statements are defamatory, in that they are false and, among other meanings, have been falsely understood to mean that the CTC is an entity through which the LTTE has conducted operations in Canada.
The lawsuit also alleges that this is not the first time that Gunaratna’s qualifications and objectivity as a stated expert on terrorism have been challenged. The CTC is a non-profit organization which serves as the voice of Tamil Canadians. Headquartered in Toronto, the CTC has chapters across Canada and an elected board of directors.
“While the CTC’s mission is to work with various levels of government in Canada to address issues of significance to Tamil Canadians, the CTC does not, and never has, functioned as the front in Canada for the LTTE movement”, said David Poopalapillai, the CTC’s National Spokesperson.
“The CTC 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, a director of the CTC, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 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 andis aware of the allegations against it.
A copy of the statement of claim in the lawsuit can be found at: canadiantamilcongress.ca
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