Charity Commission publishes report on investigation into Eelapatheeswara Aalayam

(Immediate Release - 12 February 2010)

 

 

 

 

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today published a report on its investigation into Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam, (registered charity no. 1125884). The investigation was opened following complaints of alleged links between some of the trustees and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (the LTTE), an organisation that is proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Links between a charity and terrorism are completely unacceptable. In light of the allegations of links between some of the trustees and a proscribed organisation, the Commission opened its investigation into the charity to consider whether there were concerns about those individuals’ suitability to hold their position, whether the trustees had discharged their duties and responsibilities to the charity about handling the allegations and whether they were ensuring that the charity and its reputation were protected.

The Commission found no evidence that the trustees had made public statements of support, even in ambiguous terms, for the LTTE, or had used language or imagery associated with the LTTE in a way which could inadvertently promote its causes or activities. The Commission found that the trustees had discharged their duties in handling the allegations and concerns properly and appropriately.

The Commission’s report on the investigation provides wider lessons for the sector and makes clear that it is the responsibility of trustees to safeguard their charity from the risk of abuse, including terrorist abuse. The Commission will support them in doing this, and believes that the most effective way to minimise the risk of abuse is through implementing strong governance and financial arrangements.

In November 2009, the Charity Commission launched an online toolkit for trustees on protecting their charity from potential harm and abuse. The first chapter, Charities and Terrorism, can be found on the Commission’s website - www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Library/toolkitsum.pdf

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PR 09/10

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Notes to Editors

1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. See www.charitycommission.gov.uk for further information or call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218.

2. Our mission is: to ensure charities’ legal compliance, enhance charities’ accountability, encourage charities’ effectiveness and impact and to promote the public interest in charity.

3. More information about the Charity Commission’s Compliance Division can be found in Charities Back on Track, a report on the themes and wider issues arising from the Commission’s compliance work. This can be found on the Commission’s website - www.charitycommission.gov.uk/investigations/backontrack.asp

4. The Charity Commission’s counter-terrorism strategy was published in July 2008. This can be found on the Commission’s website - www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Our_regulatory_activity/Counter_terrorism_work/ctstrategy.aspx.

5. The Commission conducts two kinds of investigation cases. Most concerns are dealt with through non-statutory investigations called regulatory compliance cases. In these cases the risk is usually more limited and able to be resolved through providing supervision, regulatory advice and guidance to trustees without the need to intervene by using our powers. This investigation was undertaken as a regulatory compliance case.

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