[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Billionaire cleared of funding LTTE
Sri Lanka's Central Bank finds no evidence against world's 559th richest person.
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2009 10:03 GMT
Raj Rajaratnam, right, was charged with fraud in
the United States on Friday

Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan-born hedge fund billionaire accused of funding the Tamil Tiger rebels has been given a clean cit by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The investigations did not find any evidence of wrongdoing by Rajaratnam, who said he had given the money to a charity, the AFP news agency quoted D K Wijesuriya, the central bank's investigations unit chief, as saying on Monday.

The US authorities had last week charged Rajaratnam with fraud after saying they had uncovered the biggest ever case of insider-trading by a hedge fund.

Rajaratnam was among several wealthy Sri Lankans living abroad whose donations to the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), a US-based charity, are suspected of making their way to the Tamil Tigers.

'In good faith'

"At the time Mr Rajaratnam made the donations, the TRO was not banned by the Sri Lankan government, nor the US. It was a donation made in good faith," Wijesuriya said.

The TRO was outlawed in Sri Lanka in November 2007 and its assets were frozen a year later.

The central bank is the leading investigating authority in Sri Lanka for all financial transactions that are suspected of breaching money-laundering laws.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is considered a "terrorist" organisation by Sri Lanka, the United States and the European Union.

After decades of civil war, the government declared victory over the LTTE in May.

According to Forbes magazine, Rajaratnam is the world's 559th richest person with a net worth of $1.3bn.

Sri Lanka's justice ministry thanked him last month for donating millions of dollars to rehabilitate child soldiers conscripted by the Tamil Tigers.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list