The Canada Revenue Agency has taken away the charitable status for a group in Ottawa that the agency says has ties with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Tamil (Sri Lanka) Refugee-Aid Society of Ottawa lost its status on Thursday for improper tax receipts, inadequate monitoring over its funds and giving "funding to non-qualified donees outside Canada", the CRA stated.

The news was made public Saturday.

According to the CRA, an audit revealed $713,000 of the money it gave to the Tamil group helped support the Liberation Tigers, which is identified under the United Nations Suppression of Terrorism Regulations and Canada's Criminal Code.

It is also alleged that fundraising for the Tamil group:

  • Helped support an unnamed person who was convicted in the United States of helping the Tigers;
  • Employed an unnamed liasion officer for Sri Lanka who was an area sales co-ordinator for the World Tamil Movement, which the CRA claims also is tied to the Tigers.

The Ottawa refugee group can no longer provide donation receipts for charity, and must pay income tax unless it qualifies as a non-profit organization.

"The Government of Canada has made it very clear that it will not tolerate the abuse of the registration system for charities to provide any means of support to terrorism," the CRA added in a statement.

"The tax advantages of charitable registration should not be extended to an organization where its resources may, directly or indirectly, provide any means of support for, or benefit to, an organization listed under the United Nations Suppression of Terrorism Regulations or the Criminal Code of Canada, or to any other body engaged in terrorism."