The US Supreme Court has upheld a ban on aid to designated terrorist groups including the LTTE, even when that support is intended to steer the groups toward peaceful and legal activities, the US media reported.
According to US media reports the US court, Monday, left intact a federal law that the Obama administration considers an important tool against terrorism. But human rights organizations say the law's ban on providing training and advice to nearly four dozen organizations on a State Department list squanders a chance to persuade people to renounce extremism.
The justices voted 6-3 to reject a free-speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups to the law that bars "material support" -- everything from money to technical know-how to legal advice -- to foreign terrorist organizations.
The aid groups were only challenging provisions that put them at risk of being prosecuted for talking to terrorist organizations about nonviolent activities.
But Chief Justice John Roberts said in his opinion for the court that material support intended even for benign purposes can help a terrorist group in other ways.
In this case, the Humanitarian Law Project, civil rights lawyer Ralph Fertig and physician Nagalingam Jeyalingam, among others, wanted to offer assistance to the Kurdish or Tamil groups.
The government says the PKK has been involved in a violent insurgency that has claimed 22,000 lives while the LTTE waged a civil war for more than 30 years before their defeat last year. (Daily Mirror online)