AFFIDAVIT of Kagusthan Ariaratnam (a.k.a Murali)

Kagusthan Ariaratnam (Plaintiff)


Rohan Gunaratna (Defendant)


I, Kagusthan Ariaratnam, (also known as Murali) of the city of Ottawa, in the province of Ontario, MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:

  1. Kagusthan Ariaratnam (the undersigned and the “subject” hereafter) is a Canadian citizen of Tamil nationality. He is married and has three children who were born in Canada. Canadian authorities thoroughly knew his background before the “subject” became a Canadian citizen.
  2. Professor Rohan Gunaratna, who is currently the Director General of the Institute of National Security in Sri Lanka, first met the “subject” in the summer of 1996 in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, when Gunaratna was doing his Master of Arts at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University. The “subject” was held as a prisoner of war, even though he had defected from the ranks of the Tamil rebel movement, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), better known as the Tamil Tigers. During this period, Gunaratna interviewed the “subject” for his book entitled International & Regional Security Implications of the Sri Lankan Tamil Insurgency (Sri Lanka: Alumni Association of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, 1997).
  3. Gunaratna met the “subject” for the second time in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in mid-1997 and interviewed the “subject” for his second book entitled Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Crisis & National Security (Colombo: South Asia Network on Conflict Research, 1998). During this meeting, Gunaratna informed the “subject” that he was interviewing the “subject” for his master’s dissertation, Changing nature of warfare: LTTE at the razor’s edge, which was also published in 1998.
  4. Gunaratna met the “subject” for the third time in the summer of 1999 in Montreal, Canada, and interviewed the “subject” for his doctorate dissertation at the Department of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, where Gunaratna was British Chevening Scholar (The UK Foreign Office’s Scholarships and Awards Scheme) from 1996-1999. Gunaratna’s Ph.D. was supervised by Dr. Bruce Hoffman, entitled Dynamics of Diaspora-supported Terrorist Networks: Factors and Conditions Driving and Dampening International Support for PTRA. LTTE. PKK and Kashmiri Groups.
  5. After completing his Ph.D., Gunaratna became a Fellow at the University of St Andrews’ Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence. Between 2000 and 2002, the “subject” was requested to work with Gunaratna as a terrorism analyst, writing periodically on the Tamil Tigers’ ORBAT, organizational structures, domestic and international operations, procurements, formations, divisions, personnel profiles, tactics, and strategies. Gunaratna requested the “subject” to fax or email the work the “subject” had done for him. These include writing detailed articles about the history of the Tamil Tigers and its wings, translating Tamil newspapers, magazines, calendars, and pamphlets published by the Tamil Tiger front, and sympathetic and cover organizations in Canada.
  6. After relocating as a Singapore-based “international terrorism expert” at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS), Gunaratna became an Associate Professor and is the head of its International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR). In October 2003, Gunaratna invited the “subject” to his center and requested the “subject” to brief the staff at IDSS for three consecutive days about international terrorism, using the Tamil Tigers as a case study, and honored the “subject” with a token of appreciation.
  7. On this occasion, Gunaratna introduced Malinda Moragoda, currently the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for India, to the “subject,” who requested the subject to corporate with the Sri Lankan officials to obliterate the LTTE. Moragoda and Gunaratna promised the “subject that once LTTE is obliterated, they will offer a federal political solution, such as Canada’s, to the Tamil grievances in Sri Lanka. The “subject” had no choice but fully cooperate with the Sri Lankan officials to win the war against the LTTE because his family was kept as collateral in Colombo.
  8. In the same meeting, Gunaratna and Morogoda informed the “subject” that the directorate of military intelligence was engineering a split within the LTTE and convinced the “subject” to write the profiles of top-notch LTTE leaders. The “subject” wrote the profiles of around 20 icons of the LTTE leadership, including Colonel Karuna, who defected from the LTTE in March 2004 with some 6000 cadres, and the renegades played a crucial role in wiping out the entire LTTE organization by May 2009.
  9. In the following years, Gunaratna requested the “subject” to write an undergraduate thesis on the Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Service (TOSIS), which the “subject” completed during the winter of 2005, but the “subject” was never granted the undergraduate degree that Gunaratna’s center promised. Nonetheless, the “subject” continued to work with Gunaratna until the LTTE was militarily obliterated in May 2009.
  10. After the defeat of the LTTE in October 2009, the “subject” learned that a joint Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Border Service Agency operation in Vancouver had captured a ship carrying 76 Tamils. All the ship’s passengers were seeking asylum. This was not the usual mix of “boat people” because this was a group of Tamil men, all between the ages of 18 and 30.
  11. The LTTE owned their fleet of merchant’s vessels, and everybody in Sri Lanka knew they were dispersing to Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and India – mostly their closest neighbors. At first, the “subject” made the same assumptions as the Sri Lankan government had. To him, it was obvious that the migrants were possibly LTTE cadres, being Tamils of prime age. Whoever they were, the “subject” knew they were fleeing torture, murder, and worse at the hands of the Sri Lankan government.
  12. It seemed that every week there were more reports of horrifying acts of retribution on the part of the majority Sinhalese of Sri Lanka against the minority Tamils, now easy prey without the LTTE presence. There was even a Western media documentary entitled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,” which was an investigatory documentary about the final weeks of the Sri Lankan Civil War broadcast by the British TV station Channel 4. Described as one of the most graphic documentaries in British TV history, the documentary featured amateur video from the conflict zone filmed by civilians and Sri Lankan soldiers, which depicted “horrific war crimes.”
  13. One evening in October 2009, the “subject” was startled to see the face of Gunaratna, who had been hired by the then-Canadian conservative government as an ‘expert witness’ on the Tamil migrant ship issue. Gunaratna declared with absolute certainty that the 76 Tamils were all LTTE cadres. He argued that the refugee claimants threatened Canadian and Sri Lankan security and should be sent directly home to be ‘dealt with’ there (CBC News, 2009). The lawyers for the 76 arrivals and the spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), a non-profit Tamil community organization, were also featured in the news, arguing that it was impossible to make such a sweeping statement and that each refugee claim should be investigated on an individual basis whether the arrivals were LTTE cadres or not (Youssef, 2010).
  14. The “subject” had an immediate and robust gut reaction. Gunaratna had no moral right to give evidence on this matter. The “subject” also felt that there should be an internal investigation by Canadian authorities. If the men were found to be a threat to the national security of Canada, then they should be sent back. But Gunaratna had been instrumental in sending the “subject” – an LTTE intelligence wing cadre – to Canada. Then, once the “subject” was here, Gunaratna blackmailed him into working as an informant for the Sri Lankan government. Gunaratna had once said to the “subject,” ‘When I say jump, you should ask, ‘How high?’ Now Gunaratna wanted to send these other men back? LTTE cadres were acceptable in foreign countries if he approved of them first, it seemed.
  15. Since his arrival in Canada, the “subject” worked with Canadian authorities to help identify those who might be importing violence to this land. The “subject” believes resolutely in peaceful means to peaceful ends. He was so deeply touched that the Canadian government and its agencies had enough faith in granting him Canadian citizenship even though the “subject” was a former member of a rebel organization. He had done whatever he could be worthy of that trust.
  16. The “subject” had hoped that once the LTTE was obliterated, the Sri Lankan government would look for a political solution to the internecine conflict. This was promised to him by most of the military, intelligence, and Sri Lankan government officials. The merciful victor was not a concept that seemed to be well understood by the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese majority has no intention of offering a permanent political solution to this dwindling fly in their ointment. The government already insists that no Tamil problem exists, and they ignore the plight of Tamils. Helpless and full of guilt, the “subject” watched as his people were being marginalized and oppressed.
  17. Under these circumstances, the “subject” had decided to submit an affidavit against Gunaratna’s testimony and felt, by doing this, he needed to prevent his Tamil brethren’s being sent back to Sri Lanka. The purpose of the affidavit was to show that Gunaratna was not a credible witness. He is a Sri Lankan government operative and ethically compromised; on top of that, he is biased toward Tamils. In the opinion of the “subject,” Gunaratna is an information speculator masquerading as an analyst. He believed that asking Gunaratna to identify Tamils was equivalent to consulting Hitler to identify a Jew.
  18. In January 2010, all 76 migrants were ordered released by a judge from the Immigration and Refugee Board since the Canadian agencies could not find any evidence against them or links to the rebels. The “subject” was relieved that they were not sent back to Sri Lanka to their possible deaths. The first lesson the “subject” learned was that one person could make a difference. By giving his testimony through the affidavit, he was able to have Gunaratna removed as an expert witness from the Tamil migrant’s investigation.
  19. Consequently, Gunaratna accused the “subject” of working for the LTTE front organization, the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC). The truth is that the CTC is a non-profit organization serving as Tamil Canadians’ voice. According to the Canadian government, CTC is part of Canadian civil society and a legal entity in Canada. Gunaratna was trying to paint a picture of the entire Tamil community who live here in Canada as smugglers, criminals, and terrorists. As such, he perpetuated a stereotypical version of the Tamils, which will continue their oppression in Sri Lanka and Canada.
  20. Following the migrant ship case, Gunaratna made direct allegations against CTC in a Sri Lankan newspaper, stating, “The LTTE is operating under the name of the Canadian Tamil Congress…and Canadian Government is aware of this and is currently investigating.” As these comments were utterly false and profoundly defamatory, CTC decided to take legal action in Canadian courts against Gunaratna.
  21. On January 2014, a judge found Gunaratna liable and fined him $75,000 in CTC’s favor; the judge stated, “the statements were defamatory, either directly or by innuendo, because they imply CTC is involved in the commission of violence and illegal activity. It is unequivocal and uncontroverted that these statements were, in fact, false and untrue.”
  22. Soon after the CTC won the defamatory case against Gunaratna, the Sri Lankan government designated the CTC as a terrorist entity under UNSCR 1373. However, it is essential to note that the Canadian government denied this allegation by the Sri Lankan government and claimed that CTC is part of Canadian civil society and a mere legal entity.
  23. For the last two decades, the “subject” has provided valuable services as an intelligence officer, terrorism analyst, security consultant, and informant for many intelligence services, including India’s Foreign Intelligence Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Military Intelligence of Sri Lanka, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore. To facilitate better CVE-PVE programs, the “subject” has initiated Project O Five Ltd (, an Ottawa, Ontario-based independent and non-profit initiative. This initiative addresses various subjects, including international relations, counter-radicalization, and counterterrorism research. This focus drives informed strategic and tactical intelligence analysis, threat briefs, and public awareness.
  24. Even though the “subject” moved on from his past, the Sri Lankan war wounds and scenes from the past haunt him to date—a reel of death, genocide, and war claw at his heart and mind. After being kidnapped from school and forced to fight as a child soldier, the “subject” had to choose where he placed his loyalties. While his people were being torn away from everything dear to them during the bloodbath of Sri Lanka, he abandoned his family and fled to Canada. Not to betray them but to protect them. Yet, the “subject” was filled with remorse and shame. He prays that God will forgive him and plan to redeem his sins.
  25. Daily guilt, persistent nightmares resulting from the subject’s involvement in the civil war, and helplessness in faraway Canada, he slipped into depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which gradually evolved into schizoaffective disorder in December 2004, soon after the “subject” arrived in Canada. Due to many years of prolonged treatment, the influence psychopharmacology has had on his life, and the effect that the drugs have had on his mind and behavior, the “subject” was ultimately changed into a different person.
  26. The antipsychotic drugs significantly impacted his personality and outlook. As he internalized the treatment and conditioning, the “subject” came to misbelieve psychologically and biologically that he had a severe mental disorder and could no longer live without the antipsychotic drugs.
  27. Moreover, due to the antipsychotic drugs and chemical imbalance in his body, the “subject” suffers from many different side effects, such as obesity, hyper-cholesterol, hyper-thyroid, extreme fatigue, short-term memory loss, loss of focus, and loss of concentration. One thing led to another, and he finds himself today, after more than twenty years of ongoing treatment, he has been conditioned and dependent on these drugs. If he ever stops taking the prescribed medications, he will relapse.
  28. In annihilating the Tamil Tigers, many innocent people—youth, elderly, women, and children—had been killed as collateral. And some of those deaths happened because of the subject’s actions. But he knows that doing the unthinkable was his only choice back then. His survival depended on it. Perhaps today, the “subject” might still amount to something greater than this wasted shell of a human who still lives with regrets and nightmares about those days. The survivor guilt he experiences is all-consuming.
  29. Extensive research revealed a looming threat. The current Sri Lankan President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is a puppet of a few China-backed military generals and intelligence officials. Successive Sinhalese governments will never accommodate Tamils politically, economically, culturally, or socially as Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority still practices extreme ethnonational ideology. This is known as the “Jathika Chintanaya” or the “Mahavamsa Mindset,” and its outcome is the “Sinhala-Budda Deepa” and “unitary state.” Therefore, for the next 2500 years, a Sinhala Buddhist will never allow a federal state or any autonomy for non-Sinhala-Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
  30. Given the status quo of the ethnic divide, the successive chauvinistic Sri Lankan governments are not even ready to implement the 13th Amendment. The “subject,” therefore, hopes that he shall at least aid his people to attain the second-best option, which is a federation of Tamil Eelam if he continues to fight for a separate homeland of Tamil Eelam. However, contrary to LTTE’s modus operandi, the “subject” aims to campaign an intelligence-led conflict resolution. That is, by documenting and exposing the untold story of atrocities committed by the LTTE and the government of Sri Lanka to the international community.
  31. Against this backdrop, Tamil Eelam, a separate homeland for minority Tamils, is the only viable solution to resolving Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil grievances if the Sri Lankan government fails to offer a federation of Tamil Eelam. The Tamil Eelam cause is just, although the methods used to achieve the cause were abhorrent. The “subject” represents the solution to bridge the gap between the grievance and the resolution. He lives with daily guilt, persistent nightmares, and regret resulting from the betrayal of his cause. His shame and pain must not be in vain. Tamil people’s dream of justice could be far-fetched, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from doing the right thing.
  32. The “subject” swears this statement to be accurate and made for no improper purpose.


Kagusthan Ariaratnam

Featured image: Merriam-Webster’s Words of the Year 2018


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