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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

Clinton office rejected and returned campaign funds from LTTE supporters in America

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, 10 February, ( Leading Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton through her Office in Washington D C announced that they have already rejected the election campaign funds sent by the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) proscribed as an arm of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. A New Jersey resident in U S A, allegedly connected to TRO had sent in the funds. This was revealed to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona and Bernard Goonatilake, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Washington and also to me.

This was a sequel to two top ranking Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry diplomats visiting Senator Hillary Clinton’s office at Washington on the Hill, to protest against the collection of campaign funds by TRO. Sources at the Clinton office indicated to me that after thorough scrutiny, the funds were deemed unacceptable under U S law.

The two Sri Lankan diplomats met Andrew Shapiro, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor of Senator Hillary Clinton and recorded their objections over her remarks she reportedly made about terrorism and LTTE in October 2007.

Clinton office revealed that they were aware of the criticism arising from Senator Hillary Clinton’s alleged statement that "There are personality-driven terrorist objectives. The bottom line is, you can't lump all terrorists together. And I think we've got to do a much better job of clarifying what are the motivations, the raisons d'être of terrorists.

"I mean, what the Tamil Tigers are fighting for in Sri Lanka, or the Basque separatists in Spain, or the insurgents in al-Anbar province may only be connected by tactics. They may not share all that much in terms of what is the philosophical or ideological underpinning. And I think one of our mistakes has been painting with such a broad brush, which has not been particularly helpful in understanding what it is we were up against when it comes to those who pursue terrorism for whichever ends they're seeking, ” the New York Senator was quoted as her comments on “Terrorism and LTTE.”

This was brought to Andrew Shapiro’s notice that Sri Lankan Americans who are strong supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton were discouraged by the manner in which Senator Clintons remarks in October 2007 on terrorism quoting LTTE and other terrorists’ organizations which were manipulated by TamilNet and pro-LTTE related Medias.

It was in that connection Andrew Shapiro said that Senator Hillary Clinton Office was in receipt of numerous concerns expressed by Sri Lanka Americans with regard to Senator’s statement.

Sri Lanka’s top diplomats, Dr. Palitha Kohona and Ambassador Bernard Goonatilake pointed out to the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor of Senator Clinton that a Tamil by the name of Ram Rangan, a resident in New Jersey who was at the forefront of this fund collecting campaign. They added that in fact he has admitted sometime ago as he was the supporter of the TRO which was banned by the USA as a front organization of the LTTE in November 2007.

Ambassador Benard Goonatilake said that at that point it was revealed that funds sent to Senator Clinton’s Presidential Elections campaign has been rejected and sent back according to the rules relating to the acceptance of campaign funds and donations from individuals, groups and organizations.

It was further revealed that Ram Rangan’s association with the fund collecting activities for the Hillary Clintons Presidential Elections Campaign was also terminated after the protest made by the concerned Sri Lanka Americans.

Note by Editor: Asian Tribune contacted Clinton campaign several times through our Los Angeles sources, as news of the TRO fund rising surfaced several months ago. We were told that funds received would be thoroughly scrutinized as required by U S Law and any irregularities or traces of foreign contamination would be ground for rejection of such funds. LTTE and TRO must have realized that trying to get pass the standard practices were futile.

- Asian Tribune -

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