Accounting review clears university Tamil students’ club

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2007, 03:03 GMT]
Canada’s University of Waterloo has cleared its Tamil Students’ Association of any wrong doing, citing an intensive review by the international auditing firm, Deloitte and Touche. Separately, the university also accepted a separate internal review which recommendation there be greater oversight of self-generated work placements overseas for members. Sri Lankan media had denounced the Association as a fundraising front for the LTTE.

Amid accusations the Waterloo Tamil Students' Association (WATSA) was linked to funding for the Liberation Tigers, Deloitte and Touche reviewed documents provided by the university, the University of Waterloo Federation of Students and WATSA covering a 10-year period ending August 2006.

The review found nothing to suggest that funds entrusted to WATSA and its leadership were used for anything other than legitimate and intended purposes.

"Dr. Amit Chakma, vice-president academic and provost, has accepted the report and our senior administration found the work to be detailed and thorough," press reports quoted Martin Van Nierop, the university’s director of communications and public affairs, as saying.

"We are satisfied that an independent auditor has confirmed the integrity of our Tamil student group, and look forward to implementing the recommendations related to students working and studying abroad."

A university committee reviewing international work experience found that opportunities for self-employment overseas should undergo more rigorous pre-approval and ongoing oversight, the Waterloo Chronicle reported.

Where distance makes a staff visit impractical, the university will ask a traveling professor, trusted alumni or other appropriate professional to conduct an on-site visit, the paper added.

In mid-2006, US authorities arrested several individuals, including one who had once been a member of WATSA.

External Links:
Imprint: Audit clears WATSA of wrongdoing


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