Good Faith

Oct 19, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan-born hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam was investigated for allegedly funding Tamil Tiger rebels, but there was no evidence against him, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said Monday. US authorities on Friday charged Rajaratnam, 52, with fraud after saying they had uncovered the biggest ever case of insider-trading by a hedge fund.

He was among several wealthy overseas Sri Lankans whose donations to a Maryland-based charity, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), are suspected of making their way to the separatist Tamil Tigers.

“At the time Mr. Rajaratnam made the donations, the TRO was not banned by the Sri Lankan government, nor the US. It was a donation made in good faith,” the central bank’s investigations unit chief, D.K. Wijesuriya, told AFP.

The central bank is the leading investigating authority in Sri Lanka for all financial transactions that are suspected of breaching money-laundering laws.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are considered a terrorist organisation by Sri Lanka, the United States and the European Union. After decades of civil war, the government declared victory over the LTTE in May.

Wijesuriya said their inves