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Sri Lanka: Terrorist Finance Act to Be Revised

(Aug. 29, 2012) According Sri Lankan Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, speaking for the nation's Cabinet on August 24, 2012, the government has approved a plan to revise legislation on terrorist financing. (Sri Lanka to Amend Terrorist Finance Act, COLOMBO PAGE (Aug. 24, 2012).)

The proposal to make changes in the law came from G.L. Peiris, the Minister of External Affairs. The amendments, which will be in written in accordance with recommendations from the G-7 Financial Action Task Force (FATF), will affect Act 25 of 2005, the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act. (Id.; Act 25, 2005, GAZETTE OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA (Aug.12, 2005) (Supplement).)

Rambukwella noted that in order to suppress the financing of terrorism, the country needs a complete legal framework and therefore further revisions of the Act are needed. Sri Lanka's government has given a written commitment that it will work with the FATF. (Sri Lanka to Amend Terrorist Finance Act, supra.)

The 2005 Act was last amended on October 6, 2011. (Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Act, No. 41 of 2011, IV MAJOR LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS OF 2011 7-12.) At that time, a number of terms used in the original enactment were defined and other wording changes were adopted. For example, the 2011 amendment replaced the terms “the offence of financing of terrorists or [a] terrorist organization” with “the offence of financing of a terrorist act, a terrorist or terrorists or a terrorist organization.” (Id. § 3(2).)

The FATF is described on its website as an intergovernmental policy-making body designed to “set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.” (About Us: Who We Are, FATF (last visited Aug. 24, 2012).) The FATF noted in a recent report that “Sri Lanka should continue to work on addressing the remaining issue regarding adequate criminalisation of terrorist financing.” (Sri Lanka: FATF Public Statement – 22 June 2012 (June 22, 2012), FATF.)