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LTTE collects $ 30 million a month, says Lanka

The Sri Lankan government says that the LTTE has been collecting up to $30 million a month from Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates across the globe, reports PK Balachandran.

world Updated: Nov 16, 2007 19:18 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran
Hindustan Times

The Sri Lankan government said on Friday that the LTTE had been collecting up to $30 million a month from Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates across the globe.

Praising the US Treasury for freezing the assets of the LTTE front – Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told parliament that Sri Lanka could now expect a "significant decline" in the collections of the LTTE world wide which ranged from $ 20 million to $30 million per month.

The US government had become the "first foreign government to take tangible action against an LTTE front organization," Bogollagama said.

Could assume new guises

But the minister warned that eternal vigilance was necessary because the LTTE had become an expert in circumventing curbs and bans.

For example, TRO-UK was taken over by the UK Charity Commission in 2002 and de-listed on August 10, 2005, but on August 28, the LTTE registered a new company called International Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (ITRO) with the same aims and purposes.

Similarly, when the French banned the Tamil Television Network (TTN) for doing propaganda for the LTTE, within days, the station was shifted to Switzerland. It started functioning under a new name "Tharisanam".

"Hence, the need for vigilance to ensure that the functions carried out by the LTTE front organisation, the TRO, now proscribed in the US, is not taken on by another front," the Sri Lankan minister said.

First Published: Nov 16, 2007 19:14 IST