SL freezes pro-LTTE NGO's funds 'sans notice'
This step, it claims, has hampered $750,000 worth of relief work in the war and tsunami ravaged North-East of the island, reports PK Balachandran.india Updated: Sep 04, 2006 06:54 IST
The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), which is viewed by the Sri Lankan government as a front for the terrorist LTTE, has complained that its bank accounts have been frozen without notice.
This step, it claims, has hampered $750,000 worth of relief work in the war and tsunami ravaged North-East of the island.
TRO's media spokesman Arjunan Ethirveerasingam said in a press release on Sunday that the Central Bank (Sri Lanka's apex bank) had not made any request for information or given any notice prior to the action taken on August 29.
He said that since its registration as a NGO in Sri Lanka, TRO had responded to all requests for financial and project information from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliamentary Select Committee on NGOs.
"There has never been any follow up questions or requests to testify before any committees or courts," he pointed out.
Ethirveerasingam said that 60 per cent of the $750,000 were tied to contractual obligations involving UN Agencies, Save the Children, Operation USA and the Nippon Foundation.
Forty per cent of it came from the Tamil expatriates.
The TRO says that it has so far implemented over $ 20 million worth of tsunami relief and reconstruction projects benefiting all the three Sri Lankan ethnic groups.
It has complained that despite the good work, the Sri Lankan government agencies and the security forces have been harassing it and its staff.
The Sri Lankan government's hard line on the TRO is now being supported by the American FBI and the Australian government, which also see it as an agency meant to collect funds for the LTTE.