Sri Lanka to tighten money laundering

Sri Lanka is to tighten laws against money laundering and terrorist financing to bring them in line with international standards, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal made by External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris to amend its terrorist financing laws that were introduced in 2005, government spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

He told a media conference that the Legal Draftsman has been instructed to draw out the necessary amendments, which will be presented to parliament for approval.

“This is in keeping with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force of the G7 countries to eliminate remaining deficiencies in law among the member countries,” he said.

Sri Lanka brought in legislation to stamp out terrorist financing during its three decade war against the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) that ended in 2009.

Existing law gives broad powers to investigate non-Sri Lankans while they are domiciled in the country as well as for police to freeze or suspend terrorist funds and properties relating to terrorist financing or activities before indictment.

“The new amendments will apply to any section of the previous laws that are considered to have loopholes,” Rambukwella remarked but refrained from mentioning if such points have been identified. (Xinhua)