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US freezes assets of pro-LTTE Tamil charity

February 12, 2009 00:48 IST

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Targeting the 'support network' of the Tamil Tigers, the United States on Wednesday designated a US-based charity group as a 'front' of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and ordered freezing of its assets.

The Tamil Foundation has been designated under 'Executive Order 13224', which "targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism," the US Department of Treasury said in a press statement. It said the action came as part of its efforts to target "the support network of the Sri Lanka-based designated terrorist group LTTE [Images]."

"The LTTE, like other terrorist groups, has relied on so-called charities to raise funds and advance its violent aims," said Adam J Szubin, Director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

"We will continue to aggressively target attempts by any terrorist group to hide behind charities, front companies, or name changes to propagate terror against innocents."

The statement claimed that the "head of the Tamil Foundation is also president of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation in the United States. The TRO was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on November 15, 2007".

"Over the course of many years, the Tamil Foundation and the TRO have co-mingled funds and carried out coordinated financial actions," it said.

Under the order, "any assets the Tamil Foundation has under US jurisdiction are frozen, and US persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with it", the statement said.

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