Man freed in NYC LTTE case

A man called the top U.S. representative of an outlawed Sri Lankan rebel group has been freed from jail in a New York City terrorism case.A judge sentenced Karunakaran (kah-roo-nah-KEHR-ahn) Kandasamy (kahn-dah-SAH-mee) on Friday to time served _ about five years. Prosecutors had sought a maximum 20-year term. But there’s still no finality to the criminal case.After countless delays, one of five defendants left in legal limbo _ a naturalized U.S. citizen and former cab driver named Karunakaran Kandasamy _ is up for sentencing Friday in federal court in Brooklyn. Two others who also pleaded guilty are awaiting sentencing, while another pair is fighting extradition in Canada.For the 55-year-old Kandasamy, the stakes are high: Prosecutors have argued that as the top U.S. representative for the Tamil Tigers, he deserves a lengthy sentence _ the maximum is 20 years _ for raising money for the separatist group. The defense believes Kandasamy, who suffers from diabetes and other ailments, already has done enough time. The United States and other Western countries had labeled the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organization before the rebels were defeated in a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009. Nearly six years have passed since U.S. authorities took the unusual step of rounding up a group of Sri Lankan immigrants and charging them with breaking terror financing laws by raising money and trying to get weapons for the Tamil Tigers rebel forces.Since then, 14 defendants charged in New York have been convicted. Some were given 25 years in prison. Back home, the Tamil Tigers were finally vanquished after a bloody civil war. The 55-year-old Kandasamy was among several Sri Lankan immigrants rounded up in the mid-2000s and accused of illegally raising money for the Tamil Tigers. Kandasamy, a native Tamil who’s been jailed for five years, “is a fundamentally good and decent man who wanted to help the community he clearly loved _ a community that suffered terribly for many years,” defense attorney Charles Ross wrote in a recent letter to the judge. “There is no question that Mr. Kandasamy went too far and broke the law, but like other defendants in this case, he was motivated by a deep desire to help his people,” the letter adds.In 2009, the Tamil Tigers admitted defeat in their 25-year war with the Sri Lankan government that left more than 70,000 people dead.The rebels, who once controlled a de facto state in the island nation’s north, had been fighting since 1983 for a separate state for minority Tamils after decades of oppression by the Sinhalese majority. Blamed for hundreds of suicide attacks, the Tamil Tigers were shunned internationally and branded terrorists by the U.S., European Union and India. Federal authorities in New York had sought to cut off support for the group by arresting sympathizers in their East Coast immigrant communities in 2006 and 2007 on charges of conspiring to provide material aid to a terrorist organization. Some like Kandasamy were tied to a covert campaign to raise and launder millions of dollars through a charity front organization.Prosecutors say there’s evidence Kandasamy helped raise millions of dollars for the Tamil Tigers, and that he went to Sri Lanka to meet with rebel commanders.The defense argued in it recent letter that Kandasamy’s motives were humanitarian. It says in Sri Lanka, he “personally witnessed the brutality of the Sri Lankan government on many occasions. … For more than 25 year, he lived in constant fear for his life and safety and the lives and safety of his family, friends and neighbors.”The U.S. government, “recognizing the systematic victimization of the Tamil people, granted Mr. Kandasamy political asylum in the early 1980s,” the letter adds. After that, “he lived an upstanding, law-abiding life.” (AP) read more

ERP system ups inventor accuracy at Weir Minerals Africas Kitwe facility

first_imgWeir Minerals Africa’s newly upgraded Kitwe facility in Zambia, its hub for central and east Africa, is benefiting from the use of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has seen inventory accuracy rates rise, according to the company’s Luhann Holtzhausen.The branch officially opened in early 2018 and boasts a state-of-the-art logistics and supply chain management systems to match those at Weir Minerals Africa’s main distribution hub in Alrode, near Johannesburg, it said.Luhann Holtzhausen, Weir Minerals Africa Supply Chain Director, said: “Our Kitwe branch now has a 100% location-controlled warehouse that runs off our ERP system with Wi-Fi-enabled scanners in place. This has resulted in the achievement of inventory accuracy rates in the high 90s.Holtzhausen continued: “The technology and technical capacity in this facility enables us to pick and bin items in real time. This will match any other system that customers may have seen globally and is also a benchmark within Zambia.”The new warehouse is all under one roof, with high visibility through natural and artificial lighting, where every product is clearly labelled with bin location and barcodes for easy tracking, Weir said. Shelving of up to three metres high keeps all items neatly stacked, easy to identify and quick to retrieve.“The right goods in the right quantity in the right place means that when a customer asks for an item, we know that we have it and can find it without delays,” Holtzhausen said.As part of the company’s operation-wide system, the stockholding of the Kitwe warehouse can be viewed in real time by the supply chain management team in Johannesburg. Holtzhausen emphasised the importance of the ERP system’s ability to track trends in customer usage in a systematic and methodical manner, to avoid any stock-outs on mine sites.Lack of timeous access to spare parts and equipment can be costly in terms of operational downtime, particularly at remote mines that take time to reach, Weir said.“In addition to the high accuracy of our data on warehouse inventory, our systems also give us end-to-end velocity measurement to monitor the flow of goods from receipt at our warehouses to the actual time of delivery at the customer’s location,” Holtzhausen said.Weir Minerals Africa has 75 stocking locations across the southern and central African region, and ships nearly 100,000 items each year from its main distribution hub in Alrode.last_img read more