75% of confiscated funds belong to INGOs, says TRO

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 November 2008, 12:03 GMT]
Responding to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) press release that the State has confiscated Rs. 71m from Tamil Rehabilitation Organization’s (TRO’s) bank account, TRO reiterated its denial of allegations that funds were “mainly used for terrorist activies,” and pointed out that the “GoSL has never produced any proof of these allegations in a court of law and has not brought any criminal charges against TRO,” and that Colombo has consistently denied TRO opportunity to defend against the allegations in the courts of law.

Asserting that “TRO has met or exceeded international standards of accountability and transparency regarding project reporting and accounting,” the TRO in the press release said, “All TRO accounts and projects during the 2002-2006 CFA / Post-Tsunami period were audited and inspected by an independent Colombo-based (Sinhalese) certified public accounting firm and an “Audited Financial Statement” was published every year.”

“Additionally, TRO provided all required financial and narrative reports to the relevant GoSL ministries as required,” TRO added in the press release.

“TRO wishes to remind the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that 75% of the “forfeited” funds in TRO’s accounts were donated by the United Nations, international NGOs, foreign governments and the GoSL itself. These funds were donated for the sole purpose of providing humanitarian assistance and development to people in the NorthEast affected by the tsunami and/or the war and as such the GoSL should return these funds to the international NGOs, UN and other bodies so that they will be able to utilize the funds for their original purpose,” TRO said in the press release.

Accusing Colombo of conducting a genocidal war of attrition against the Tamil people, the press release added that since the government ordered departure of the UN and international NGOs from the Vanni on 15 September 2008, TRO has been caring for the needs of over 300,000 IDPs displaced by Sri Lanka Army offensives.



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