The Federal Appeals Court in San Francisco has ruled against an appeal to de-list the LTTE by the Humanitarian Law Project, which had challenged an executive order issued by President George W. Bush in 2001, Sri Lanka Presidential Secretariat website reported on Tuesday.

Under the order, the LTTE remains listed as a terrorist organisation by the U.S. “The International Emergency Economic Powers Act was enacted by Congress in 1977 and was originally used by Presidents to impose economic sanctions on foreign nations considered a threat to national security.

“But in 2001, President George W. Bush issued executive orders under the law that enabled him, through the Treasury Department, to designate groups as terrorist organizations, freeze their assets and prohibit any aid or services to the groups,” said the website.

The procedure was challenged in the court on the grounds that the law was unconstitutionally vague and that it violated the First Amendment right of free speech.A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote that the law regulates conduct, not speech, and does not violate the Constitution. “There is no right to provide resources with which terrorists can buy weapons and explosives.”

Bid on life

Separately, the Sri Lankan police said the national intelligence service uncovered a plot to assassinate Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.Police spokesman Nimal Lewke said the plot was bared with the recovery of a large haul of explosives and weapons hidden in a house at Mattakkuliya in Modara, on the outskirts of Colombo.

A suicide kit weighing over 5 kg, a most modern machinegun and two remote controls were among the items recovered.

As per the police spokesperson, the attack was planned to carry out using a motor bike with explosives and was planned in two ways to ensure success.Meanwhile, in two cases, Colombo Chief Magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi granted rupees one million in personal bail with two sureties each to the four doctors who were alleged to have provided false information — under LTTE duress — to the international community pertaining to civilian deaths from areas under the control of the LTTE before May 19.

The CID submitted to the court that Vivekanantha Pillai Shanmugaraja, Kadiravel Ilangovalan Wallavan, Krishnaraja Varadharaja and Thangavelu Sathyamoorthi had manipulated the figures under LTTE duress.The Magistrate ordered them to appear before the Vavuniya Branch of the CID on the last Sunday of every month. Further inquiry was fixed for November 9.

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