Tamils face committal hearing


The committal hearing for three Tamil activists charged under the "anti-terror" laws began on October 1. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan are accused of raising money for and giving other assistance to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group fighting for self-determination for the Tamil people of north-east Sri Lanka, who are oppressed by the racist Sri Lankan government.

The prosecution has tried to prove that the LTTE is a terrorist organisation, but Peter Chalk, a "terrorism expert" who was one of the prosecution witnesses, was not altogether helpful to the prosecution case. He admitted that if a group is fighting against a deployed army (such as the Sri Lankan army), this can't be called terrorism. He said that some of the LTTE's actions, such as the attempted killing of the army commander, fall into a "grey area".

The hearing will continue on December 3.