Tamils protest LTTE court case in SwitzerlandJanuary 9, 2018
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered a hundred meters from the Federal Criminal Court to protest against the holding of a court case involving the alleged money transfer to the Tamil Tigers from Switzerland.
The protesters arrived by bus or cars, they waved the red flags of the Tamil Tigers and placards with slogans such as “The Tamil Tigers love peace.”
“We came to support our brothers. This lawsuit is aimed at our entire community by false accusations, “said one of them.
The hearing resumed on Tuesday with a new round of preliminary questions.
In 2011, a vast sting operation in several Swiss cantons resulted in the arrest of several suspects who were later released within a span of two months. A year later, a delegation from the Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Office of Police travelled to Sri Lanka to interview around 15 witnesses.
“Around 80% of Tamils living in Switzerland had made payments to support LTTE at the time to support the struggle against genocide. That does not make Tamils supporters of terrorism,” says Kuruparan Kurusamy, former president of the Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils.
Around 50,000 people from Sri Lanka live in Switzerland, mostly ethnic Tamils, who fled the island’s 30-year civil war that ended in 2009.
Thirteen financiers, mainly from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka, accused of funnelling more than $15.3 million to the separatist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) will stand trial before a Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Monday.
The Swiss funds were transported in cash by couriers to Singapore and Dubai, eventually reaching the LTTE in Sri Lanka who allegedly used the money for weapons purchase.
The report, which appeared in Swissinfo said some are former members of the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which represented the LTTE in Switzerland until 2009, and include its founder, his deputy and the person in charge of finances.
Between 1999 and 2009, they allegedly created a complex fundraising structure which involved coaxing members of the Tamil diaspora to obtain loans from banks.