Suresh Sriskandarajah

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Suresh Sriskandarajah
Born 1980
Valvettithurai, Sri Lanka
Nationality Canada
Occupation CEO of a high-tech startup
Known for Accused of using his student as a cover to aid the Tamil Tigers

Suresh Sriskandarajah is a Canadian citizen who fell under suspicion from US security officials of providing illegal support for the Tamil Tigers.[1][2][3][4][5] Sriskandarajah was born in Sri Lanka. In 1989 his family fled to Montreal to avoid the violent civil war taking place in Tamil Nadu.

Sriskandarajah enrolled in the electrical engineering program at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.[1] All Waterloo Engineering students participate in a co-op program, where they alternate one work term with one study term. Sriskandarajah spent two of his six co-op work terms on jobs in Sri Lanka. During his second work term, in 2005, Sri Lanka's coast was one of the regions that suffered from a devastating Tsunami that swept the Indian Ocean. Sriskandarajah would later describe abandoning his co-op work to join in trying to rescue survivors and make sure they were fed, housed and received medical care. In these accounts he described working with members of the Tamil Tigers.

Sriskandarajah has been described as a gifted student, who was also active in campus activities, including a leadership role in the Tamil students association, and working on The Imprint the independent student newspaper. Sriskandarajah founded a web design company after earning his undergrad degree, and enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at Wilfrid Laurier University—down the street from the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario.

American security officials sought to extradite Sriskandarajah in 2006, while he was working on his MBA.[3] Sriskandarajah was released on bail, during the long extradition process, and completed his MBA and a PhD.

In May 2010 Sriskandarajah agreed to be interviewed by Stewart Bell, of the National Post—his first interview since the US initiated its extradition request in 2006.[3]

In January 2011 the Ontario Court of Appeals turned down his appeal of that extradition request.[6] On December 14, 2012 the Supreme Court of Canada also rejected his appeal, and that of two other men.[7]

Although he had insisted on his innocence for over six years Sriskandarajah pled guilty on July 3, 2013, about six months after his extradition.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Adrian Humphreys, Allison Hanes (2006-08-23). "Waterloo university grad was secretly working for Tamil terrorists, FBI alleges". National Post. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.canada.com%2Ftopics%2Fnews%2Fstory.html%3Fid%3D90d72f6f-1710-4d89-af0f-8022ebc44bef%26k%3D94516%26p%3D2&date=2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "In a February, 2005, edition of the Imprint, the student newspaper, Sriskandarajah tells of travelling to northeastern Sri Lanka with a group of 11 University of Waterloo students on a foreign aid mission, only to find themselves providing emergency relief when the Boxing Day tsunami struck." 
  2. Michelle Shephard (2009-03-06). "'Model student' closer to facing terrorism charges". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestar.com%2Fnews%2Fontario%2F2009%2F03%2F06%2Fmodel_student_closer_to_facing_terrorism_charges.html&date=2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "Superior Court Justice Laurence Pattillo ordered 28-year-old Suresh Sriskandarajah into custody yesterday morning after dismissing a constitutional challenge and upholding the U.S. extradition request." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Stewart Bell (2010-05-28). "Exclusive: 'Waterloo Suresh' fights for a bright future, free from charges of supporting terrorism". National Post. Archived from the original on 2010-11-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20101107012840/http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/Exclusive+Waterloo+Suresh+fights+bright+future+free+from+charges/3084566/story.html. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "Suresh Sriskandarajah is clean-cut, articulate and polite. He speaks three languages, holds three university degrees and is CEO of his own web design company. At 29, he should have a bright future. Instead he is about to be extradited to the United States to face terrorism-related charges that could see him imprisoned for 25 years." 
  4. Allison Hanes (2006-08-03). "An engineer touched by devastation". National Post. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.canada.com%2Fstory.html%3Fid%3Dd8883c4a-d044-4d94-9cef-2bff1a12508a&date=2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "In a February, 2005, edition of the student newspaper, Imprint, Mr. Sriskandarajah tells of travelling to northeastern Sri Lanka with a group of 11 University of Waterloo students on a foreign aid mission, only to find themselves providing emergency relief when the Boxing Day tsunami struck." 
  5. [http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a97d39d5-0299-4d9d-9e22-2e2de9d262af http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=90d72f6f-1710-4d89-af0f-8022ebc44bef&k=94516 "Waterloo university grad was secretly working for Tamil terrorists, FBI alleges"]. Canada.com. 2006-08-23. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a97d39d5-0299-4d9d-9e22-2e2de9d262af http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=90d72f6f-1710-4d89-af0f-8022ebc44bef&k=94516. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "A University of Waterloo engineering graduate who was arrested in Ontario during a U.S. anti-terror probe used his student status to mask his work for the Tamil Tigers terrorist organization and recruited other students to act as couriers to smuggle equipment to Sri Lanka, U.S. authorities allege." 
  6. "http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/01/06/extradition-tamil.html". CBC News. 2011-01-06. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbc.ca%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Ftoronto%2Fstory%2F2011%2F01%2F06%2Fextradition-tamil.html&date=2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "Suresh Sriskandarajah and Piratheepan Nadarajah are both wanted in the United States to stand trial on unrelated charges they provided assistance to the Tamil Tigers. The Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed their appeals last month but released a decision Thursday granting them bail pending their applications for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada." 
  7. "‘Waterloo Suresh’ loses legal battle over terrorism charges". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. 2012-12-14. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.therecord.com%2Fnews-story%2F2618753--waterloo-suresh-loses-legal-battle-over-terrorism-charges%2F&date=2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "Sriskandarajah and two other men — Piratheepan Nadarajah of Brampton and Momin Khawaja of Ottawa — challenged the constitutional validity of terrorism laws passed in the wake of 9/11 attacks in the U.S. But in unanimous rulings written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, seven judges soundly rejected arguments the laws are too broad and improperly infringe on freedom of expression rights." 
  8. "Canadian pleads guilty in U.S. terrorism case". Macleans magazine. 2013-07-03. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Foncampus.macleans.ca%2Feducation%2F2013%2F07%2F03%2Fcanadian-pleads-guilty-in-u-s-terrorism-case%2F%23more-56703&date=2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20.