Toronto man held in Sri Lanka after electronics, chemicals seized
Materials seized include heatseeker, which detects movements and body heat
A Toronto man has been arrested in Sri Lanka after police seized an array of electronics, including heat-seeking devices, that were shipped from Canada.
Kajan Irampamoorthy, 20, is being held in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo and questioned about whether the materials were destined for the Tamil Tigers guerrillas.
Mr. Irampamoorthy, a permanent resident of Canada, was taken into custody more than two weeks ago, according to government officials.
The seized materials allegedly include an AimShot HeatSeeker 3500b, which uses thermal sensors to locate targets by detecting their movements and body heat. Police also seized PDAs, CDs, and five bags of chemicals similar to aircraft grease. The items had apparently been shipped by courier from an address in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.
Investigators in Canada and Sri Lanka are now trying to figure out what Mr. Irampamoorthy was doing in Colombo and why he was in possession of the electronics and chemicals.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it had no information on the matter.
Mr. Irampamoorthy was trav- elling on a Sri Lankan passport at the time of his arrest. There was no answer Thursday at his last known residence in the Toronto suburb of Markham. His cellphone number and e-mail address also went unanswered.
A spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress said members of Sri Lanka’s ethic Tamil minority are frequently arrested without cause in Colombo.
“They are arresting people left, right and centre lately,” said David Poopalapillai. “Ar- resting Tamils, it’s a daily occurrence and sometimes they twist the story.”
Sri Lanka is engulfed in a civil war between Tamil Tigers guerrillas seeking an independent homeland for the country’s Tamil minority and government forces trying to keep the country united.
Toronto is home to one of the world’s largest populations of ethnic Tamils. Many are sympathetic to the guerrillas, considering them freedom fighters defending Tamils from decades of government abuses.
The Tigers, however, are a listed terrorist organization under Canadian law because of their tactics, which have included hundreds of suicide bombings and the assassinations of such political figures as former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Meanwhile, a Toronto woman said on Thursday her 71-yearold father had also been taken into custody in Colombo and that the family had so far been unable to determine his fate.