Canadian pleads guilty for helping LTTE

New York: A 35-year-old Canadian man of Sri Lankan-origin has pleaded guilty before a New York court to conspiring to procure sophisticated technology, including submarine design software, for the now-vanquished LTTE rebels. Ramanan Mylvaganam, who previously lived in the US and extradited from Canada in 2009, was also attempting to procure night vision equipment for the Tamil Tigers rebels, said prosecutors.

He faces a maximum term of 15 years` imprisonment. Five of his co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to terrorism related offenses in connection with their support for the LTTE, the office of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement. In previously filed court documents in March 2006, Mylvaganam was charged with conspiring to purchase approximately USD 22,000 worth of submarine design software from a UK company and night vision equipment from a company in British Columbia, Canada for the LTTE.

To deceive the Canadian company, Mylvaganam falsely told its representative that the night vision equipment was for "a fourth year design project we are doing at our university." Mylvaganam also assisted a co-conspirator in purchasing computer equipment, electronics components and communications equipment for the LTTE. Mylvaganam was extradited following his indictment in the Eastern District of New York.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), founded in 1976, was aiming to establish an independent Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan armed forces had defeated the LTTE in 2009 with the death of rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to end nearly three-decade-long civil war.