Former Tamil Tiger Commander Shot Dead in Paris


A Sri Lankan man who was gunned down in Paris was Friday identified as Nadarajah Mathinthiran, a former Tamil Tiger commander who had been convicted in France of extortion and raising funds for terrorism.

Mathinthiran, who was born in 1963, was shot dead on Thursday evening as he came out of the headquarters of the Tamil Coordination Committee in France (CCTF), an organization regarded as a front for what remains of the Tigers.

The assassin fled the scene and has not been arrested.

Judicial sources said there was no evidence to link Mathinthiran's killing to his past political activities.

Mathinthiran was sentenced to five years in prison in February following his conviction in a Paris court for extortion, financing terrorism and membership of a criminal gang as part of a broader investigation into racketeering in the Sri Lankan expatriate community.

As he had already served more than three years in prison after first being arrested in 2007, Mathinthiran was able to do a deal with the authorities that avoided him being placed back behind bars.

The Tamil Tigers, officially known as the LTTE, waged a 37-year military campaign for an independent Tamil state in the north of Sri Lanka.

At one point they controlled one third of the island's territory but their gains were rolled back and their campaign ended in 2009 when government forces wiped out their leadership.

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