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Sri Lanka targets overseas LTTE finances - US

Saturday, August 11, 2012

With no incidents of terrorism or a threat of its resurgence within Sri Lanka, most counter terrorism activities undertaken by the government in 2011 targeted possible LTTE overseas finances, a United States government report released on Tuesday said.

The US State Department ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2011’, an annual report which reviews the counter terrorism events worldwide last year, said despite the military defeat of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan government was concerned about continuing fund raising activities of certain LTTE sympathiser remnants overseas.

According to the report, since the LTTE had used a number of non-profit organisations for terrorist financing purposes, including the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), during 2011, the government has actively searched for other financial links to the LTTE.

Commenting on Sri Lanka’s cooperation on a regional and international level to counter terrorism activities, the report said the government remained committed to counter terrorism efforts of international bodies such as the United Nations and cooperated with regional countries on such issues.

The report also mentioned the Sri Lanka Army’s seminar on ‘Defeating Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Experience’ held from May 31 to June 2, 2011 to discuss counter terrorism lessons learnt. It stated 41 countries, including SAARC members and China, Russia, Japan and the US had attended.

On the countering of terrorist finances, the report said the government had amended the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act in 2011 to strengthen the respective legal regimes to remove identified deficiencies.

In addition, the government placed into effect the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, as well as creating a specialised branch at the Central Bank – the Financial Intelligence Unit, to track possible terrorist financing, the report added. The report, which provides an assessment of trends and events in international terrorism revealed within the last year, continued to list the LTTE as a US government designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation.
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