Sri Lanka bans Tamil Tiger ‘front’

Nov 22, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s government is to outlaw a charity believed to be a front organisation for separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, media minister Anura Yapa said Thursday. Ministers met Wednesday and decided to proscribe the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) whose bank accounts were frozen by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last year, he said.

“The cabinet decided yesterday to ban the TRO and also ask other governments to do the same,” Yapa said.

The United States last week froze TRO assets after accusing the charity of providing financial support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at home.

The US Treasury designated the TRO a group that raises money for the rebels which Washington branded a terrorist organisation from October 1997.

The US embassy here alleged the TRO, which says it is a charity, helped the LTTE buy munitions, equipment, communication devices and other technology in the US.

The Tigers are leading a campaign for independence for the Tamil minority in this majority Sinhalese nation that has left tens of thousands dead since 1972. No date was announced for the ban to come into force but cabinet decisions usually take about a