B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has frozen bank accounts of Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), a non-government organisation that operates mainly in the northeast and is seen as an LTTE "front." It is a registered charity with the Government with its head office in Kilinochchi, operational headquarters of LTTE.

Defence spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told The Hindu "it is a follow up to the arrest of eight persons by the U.S. on August 19 on charges of conspiring to provide material support to LTTE as well as legislation by Sri Lanka Parliament last month against money laundering.

There are certain charges against the TRO and if the investigations do not reveal any link, the freeze would be lifted."

In a statement here, the TRO said on August 29 it was informed by several banks that they had been instructed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to "freeze" all TRO accounts.

The TRO, an entrant into the Sri Lankan scene after the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement has been charged by several non-governmental quarters with siding with the LTTE.

"There have never been any follow up questions or requests to testify before any committees or courts. The frozen funds amount to approximately Rs. 7,50,00,000 and were targeted for tsunami related projects which would benefit the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala communities of the NorthEast."