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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 974

Proscription of the TRO in Sri Lanka

Colombo, 23 November, (Asiantribune.com): The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on the proscription of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in Sri Lanka.

On 15 November 2007 it was announced in Washington that the United States Treasury targeted the support network of the designated terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by designating a charitable organization that as a front to facilitate fund raising and procurement for the LTTE.

The TRO was designated under Executive Order which is aimed at financially isolating terrorist groups and support networks. The legal effect of this decision is that, it freezes any assets the TRO may have under US jurisdiction and bans Americans from engaging in transactions with it.

In a statement on the announcement, Director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Adam J. Szubin has observed that the TRO passed off its operation as charitable, when in fact it was raising money for the designated terrorist group responsible for heinous acts of terrorism.

The LTTE’s ability to continue to raise funds from the Tamil Diaspora, mostly through extortion, has been possible due to the presence of numerous front organizations, mainly the TRO, which operates under the control of the LTTE.

The US action has exposed the pretensions of the TRO as an organization engaged in rehabilitation work for the Tamil people, and that it is in fact involved in fund raising and procurement for the LTTE.

Therefore, the Cabinet granted its approval to proscribe the TRO in Sri Lanka, to appeal to foreign governments, international organizations and INGOs that have a TRO presence in their countries or have relationships with the TRO, to take action against this organization and to cease any transactions, and appeal to the foreign governments, international organizations and INGOs to review the operations and its relationships with other LTTE front organizations.

Given below the summary of Cabinet Decisions of 22.11.2007:

Development of Piliyandala MMV playground

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Kulawansa Lokuge on the project for the development of the Piliyandala Madhya Maha Vidyalaya playground.

It has been decided to develop the Piliyandala MMV playground under the allocations made for the development of playgrounds this year as a pilot project in the programme to establish sports schools proposed to be implemented with effect from 2008 by the Department of Sports Development.

Accordingly it is expected to construct a number of innovative units including a 400 metre pavilion and complete the task by December 2007. It is expected get funds for this project from the allocations made for the construction of Borelsgamuwa Sports Complex.

Therefore the Cabinet has granted its approval to make use of the outstanding balance of Rs.37 million at the Department of Sports Development from the allocations amounting to Rs. 100 million for this project.

Modern Fish Market at Peliyagoda

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera on the establishment of modern Central Fish Market at Peliyagoda.

This would have adequate parking and other facilities in accordance with modern standards and hygienic requirements to relocate the existing out-dated St. John’s Fish Market in Colombo.

The estimated cost of this project is Rs.1120 million. A part of the cost amounting to Rs.440 million will be covered from the savings of the funds allocated to Aquatic Resources Development and Quality Improvement Project under the Asian Development Bank loan. Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation will prepared the site proposed for the new Central Fish Market at Peliyagoda.

Accelerating the Nanotechnology Initiative

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana on the expeditious implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative of the government. In view of the urgent need to commence research and development activities at SLINTEC, approval was granted to purchase equipment within the shortest possible time and to allow the maximum possible tax initiatives for the private sector for promoting research in the Nanotechnology field.

Augmentation of water treatment plants

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning, on the amended loan facility agreements with Hungarian Export-Import Bank to finance the augmentation of Labugama and Kalatuwawa water treatment plants.

The Labugama water treatment plant will be augmented at a cost of Euro 16,714,044.

This loan will be repaid in 15 years including a grace period of three years which begins after the draw down period of two years.

The Kalatuwawa water treatment plant will be augmented at a cost of Euro 17,383,906. This loan will be repaid in 15 years including a grace period of three years which begins after the draw down period of two years.

ADB assistance to knowledge society project

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning, on the financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank for Education for knowledge society project.

Negotiation were concluded with the Asian Development Bank to obtain a grant of US $ 15 million and a loan of about US $ 65million (SDR) for the implementation of Education for Knowledge Society project.

The main objective of the project is to improve quality, relevance, effectiveness and equity of access to secondary and tertiary education through upgrading selected 150 secondary schools in the poorest administrative districts to full pledged schools, providing 15000 scholarships for secondary education and non-university tertiary education, development of Competency Based Education Curriculum by the NIE, upgrading facilities of educational institutions such as Centre for Excellence in English Education etc, expansion of ICT education, providing computer and internet facilities for 2125 schools, integration of HIV/AIDS and Health Education into the curriculum of the secondary schools and establishing a high level policy coordination regime and partnership mechanism in the sector and setting up a Management Information System for the Ministry of Education.

ADB loan for SME Regional Development Project

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning, on a loan of SDR 32,226,000 from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Small and Medium Enterprise Regional Development Project.

The objective of this project is to accelerate the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) located outside the Western Province by improving their access to credit, creating SME value-chain clusters, mainstreaming best practices in SME financing and improving access to business development services for SMEs.

The Ministry of Finance and Planning through Central Bank will be the executing agency for the project. A Project Steering Committee (PSC) chaired by the Secretary to the Treasury will be set up to oversee the project implementation and a secretariat will be established with the Central Bank to support the PSC.

Enhanced Sweden funds waste water disposal project

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning, on the Sweden funding for the implementation of Ratmalana/Moratuwa and Ja-Ela/Ekala waste water disposal project.

Sweden has agreed to enhance the credit amount up to US $ 91,918,967 to finance the contract sum of US $ 90,650, 485.

The enhancement of the credit amount will be formalized by way of an amendment to the specific agreement signed between the two countries on 2nd march 2006 and a Credit Agreement will be concluded with the AB Svensk Exportkredit of Sweden.

- Asian Tribune -

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