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Sri Lanka: Armed Conflict

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to restrict access to funding and resources on the part of Tamil forces. (252000)

[holding answer 29 January 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or “Tamil Tigers” was proscribed by the then Home Secretary in 2001 under the terms of the Terrorism Act 2000. One of the consequences of proscription is that the resources of the organisation are defined as “terrorist property.” The definition of “terrorist property” is money or other property likely to be used for the purposes of terrorism, including any resources of a proscribed organisation. As such, there are a number of provisions, also contained in the Terrorism Act 2000, which make it unlawful to carry out specified fundraising activities if the person intends or has reasonable cause to suspect that the money or property may be used for the purposes of terrorism. The specified activities include inviting another to provide money or other property, receiving money or other property, providing money or other property, or possessing money or other property.

The LTTE is also subject to financial sanctions, i.e. an asset freeze, as a result of being both designated domestically by HM Treasury and listed under EU Council Decision 379.

A wide range of law enforcement and other agencies conduct operations to prevent financial resources reaching terrorist organisations, and the investigation of alleged terrorist finance offences is a matter for the police.