Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sri Lanka: U.S. moves against LTTE "charity"

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of the Treasury Wednesday (Feb 11), targeted the support network of the Sri Lanka-based designated terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by designating the U.S.-based Tamil Foundation under Executive Order 13224. Executive Order 13224 targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

"The LTTE, like other terrorist groups, has relied on so-called charities to raise funds and advance its violent aims," said Adam J. Szubin, Director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. "We will continue to aggressively target attempts by any terrorist group to hide behind charities, front companies, or name changes to propagate terror against innocents around the world."

The head of the Tamil Foundation is also president of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in the United States. The TRO was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224 on November 15, 2007. Over the course of many years, the Tamil Foundation and the TRO have co-mingled funds and carried out coordinated financial actions. Additional information links the Tamil Foundation to the TRO through a matching gift program. The common leadership of the TRO and the Tamil Foundation has facilitated these activities.

The TRO is a charitable organization that acts as a front to facilitate fundraising and procurement for the LTTE. Prior to its designation, Sri Lanka-based TRO operated offices in seventeen other countries worldwide, including the United States. In the U.S., TRO has raised funds for the LTTE through a network of individual representatives. According to sources within the organization, TRO is the preferred means for sending funds from the United States to the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

The LTTE is a terrorist group that seeks an independent state in northeastern Sri Lanka, where most of Sri Lanka's minority ethnic Tamil population lives. For over two decades, the LTTE has employed conventional, guerrilla, and terror tactics in a war that has claimed over 60,000 lives. The U.S. Department of State designated the LTTE a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on October 8, 1997. On November 2, 2001, the U.S. Department of State named the LTTE an SDGT under E.O. 13224.

Under E.O. 13224, any assets the Tamil Foundation has under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the Tamil Foundation.

Courtesy : The U.S. Department of the Treasury
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
Putting principles before profits