Decision based on continuous monitoring – Bandula

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Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (16) said the ban imposed on several Tamil Diaspora groups was lifted as a result of observation and careful study over a continuous period of time, and not with the intention of getting aid from foreign countries.

He said this at the Cabinet media briefing.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry said 316 individuals and six organisations have been delisted since they no longer continue to fund terrorist activities, adding that relevant authorities remain vigilant on the activities of the delisted individuals and organisations.

In a statement, the Ministry said relevant authorities remain vigilant on the activities of the delisted individuals and organisations and will ban them again, if terrorist financing is resumed.

“According to the blacklisting and delisting of persons, 577 individuals and 18 organisations were blacklisted in the year 2021 for financing terrorism under United Nations Regulation No. 1 of 2012.

After a series of discussions and careful study conducted at the Ministry of Defence by a committee consisting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s Department, key Intelligence Agencies, Law Enforcement Agencies and Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and based on reports and evidences with regard to financing terrorism by individuals and organisations, recommendations were submitted for the listing and delisting,” the ministry elaborated.

Accordingly, among the aforesaid 577 individuals and 18 organisations, a decision was made to delist 316 individuals and 6 organisations since they no longer continue to fund terrorist activities.

Furthermore, it has been decided to blacklist 55 individuals and 3 organisations for financing terrorism in the recent past.

Therefore, forwarding the recommendation of the Ministry of Defence to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 29 June 2022 for their consent, 316 individuals and 15 organisations were blacklisted on 1 August 2022 by Extraordinary Gazette No. 2291/02.

Such inclusions and exclusions for blacklisted individuals and organisations are routinely carried out by relevant authorities after observation and careful study over a continuous period of time, the ministry added.