Friday, May 2, 2008

Extortion filling Tiger coffers - US State Department

The LTTE continued to finance itself with contributions from the Tamil Diaspora in North America, Europe, and Australia, by imposing local "taxes" on businesses operating in the areas it dominates and reportedly by extortion operations in Government-controlled areas, the US State Department said yesterday.

The Department's just-released Country Report on Terrorism said the LTTE also used Tamil charitable organizations as fronts for its fundraising.

"In November, the US Government designated under Executive Order 13224 and froze the US-held assets of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, a charity associated with the LTTE. The LTTE previously used such funds for weapons purchases on the international black market and also captured arms from Sri Lankan security forces. The Sri Lankan Navy sunk three LTTE supply ships in September and another in October," the report said.

After a period of targeting Sri Lankan military and official personnel throughout 2007, the LTTE appears to have recently resumed its targeting of civilians, the Report noted.

It said the Government took effective control of the Eastern Province in midyear, but the LTTE continued to control much of the north and carried out attacks throughout the country.

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