Wall Street Executive Charged with Bankrolling Terrorists

By: examiner.com
By: examiner.com
A wealthy Wall Street hedge fund manager is charged providing money and support to Tamil rebels of Sri Lanka.

In this undated photo released by the Sri Lankan army, soldiers are seen searching a boat used by Tamil Tiger rebels, at a hide out in the No Fire Zone in Puttumattalan, in Putukudiyiruppu area about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/ Sri Lankan Army,HO)** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **

NEW YORK CITY -- Indicted Wall Street hedge fund manager Rajakumara Rajaratnam and his father, J. M. Rajaratnam, knowingly provided financial and other support to the Tamil Tigers, more than 30 victims and survivors of the terrorist group's attacks alleged yesterday, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

In a complaint filed late this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, NJ, family members of those killed and survivors of bombings committed by the group formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), alleged that Rajaratnam and the family foundation headed by his father provided millions of dollars in funds used for the deadly and destructive terrorist attacks.

The seven-count complaint, the result of a year-long investigation, was filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 which grants non-U.S. citizens access to the U.S. Courts to seek justice for violations of "the law of nations," such as crimes against humanity and terrorism, no matter where they occur.

"I will do anything to stop the LTTE menace and its suicide bombings," said Diyawadanage Subashini Sagarika Priyadarshani, widow of Kuruppu Appuhamylage Karunaratna, an Olympic athlete and champion marathon runner who was killed when an LTTE suicide bomber attacked the marathon in which he was running on April 6, 2008 in Weliweriya, Sri Lanka.

"We are seeking justice for the victims of LTTE terrorism, accountability for those whose money paid for the injuries and murder of our clients and their loved ones, and a strong deterrent against anyone who seeks to support terrorists of any stripe," said counsel for the plaintiffs, Michael Elsner of Motley Rice LLC.

"The defendants, we allege, have the plaintiffs' blood on their hands because those who paid for murder are just as culpable as those who committed the acts," Elsner said. "We have what we believe is incontrovertible evidence that the money of Mr. Rajaratnam and his father made its way to the LTTE as intended, that they knew the LTTE was engaged in a massive campaign of terrorism, and that they supported the LTTE's goals and tactics."

"Everything is lost now," said Hathwellge Dona Siryani. Her daughter, Shanika Oshadi Peillassage, was killed along with her boyfriend, Anjana Thanuska Habaraduwa Hewage, in the November 28, 2007 bombing of a crowded "No Limit" clothing store at Nugegoda junction in a suburb of Colombo. The victims were months away from their planned wedding.

"Our loss cannot be replaced," said Karunamunige Krishanthi. Her husband, Hettige Priyantha Perera Jayatunga, was killed, and she and her daughter were injured in the "No Limit" bombing. She was hospitalized for nearly two months and did not learn about her husband's death until her release. Her daughter, now age six, was in the hospital for three weeks. Both continue to suffer pain from their injuries and the family was forced to move when they were unable to pay the rent following Jayatunga's death.

"Today when we get up in the morning, we feel that it would be better to have died than to live," said Wijayan Rajaratnam, father of Rajaratnum Radeeswaran, who was killed February 3, 2008 when an LTTE suicide bomber attacked the Fort Railway train station in Colombo. His son was captain of his baseball team and a Tamil, the same ethnic group as the LTTE, whose terrorist acts did not discriminate between the targeted Sinhalese and the Tamils.

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