Sri Lanka seizes TRO funds

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 September 2006, 07:00 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government has frozen the funds of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) with immediate effect, the Sunday Times reported. The directive has been given by the Central Bank on the basis of combating the financing of terrorism, the paper said.

The freezing of TRO funds was made known to TRO officials only when they sought to make a withdrawal from their accounts in Kilinochchi and in Colombo.

The bank account in Kilinochchi had TRO deposits amounting to Rs. 20 million when the order to freeze the accounts was given.

In Colombo, TRO officials who visited a private bank were told about the order and their cheques were not accepted.

The TRO was granted Rs 2,000 million (20 million US dollars) for tsunami relief work from international organizations including UN agencies.

In January this year the Government called on the US government to ban the TRO operations in that country. The matter was raised by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his visit to the US.

The TRO is registered as a charity organization in the US and functions in 28 other countries. In Britain, the Charity Commission started probing TRO functions and subsequently a new charitable company known as the Tamil Support Foundation (TSF) was set up with TRO funds being transferred to the new trust.

This weekend TRO legal advisors were making attempts to contact Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal to seek clarification about the decision to freeze funds.

 

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