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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

European Union clamps down hard on Terrorist

[b]European Union clamps down hard on Terrorist [/b]

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor Asian Tribune

[b] London, 27 September ([/b] The European Union is seriously considering naming the LTTE as a terrorist organization, the EU announced on Monday.

Until a decision is taken the EU has agreed to ban with immediate effect LTTE delegations visiting EU member countries.

"The European Union has also agreed that each Member State will, where necessary, take additional national measures to check and curb illegal or undesirable activities (including issues of funding and propaganda of the LTTE, its related organizations and known individual supporters," the EU said in a statement issued today.

The EU has been under pressure from Sri Lanka and concerned states and organizations to ban the LTTE in its member-states, particularly after the Tamil Tigers were suspected of involvement in the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on August 12.

Despite attempts by Norway and some other Nordic countries to soft pedal any action by the organisation, Britain, now holding the EU presidency, has been increasingly taking a more active role in having the LTTE listed by the organization as a terrorist organization.

The statement today is seen as a victory for those who campaigned to have sanctions imposed on the LTTE and the strong stand taken by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

In perhaps the strongest statement issued by the EU in recent times, the organisation said it "hereby declares its condemnation of the continuing use of violence and terrorism by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The pursuit of political goals by such totally unacceptable methods only serves to damage the LTTE's standing and credibility as a negotiating partner and gravely endangers the Peace Process so much desired by the people of Sri Lanka."

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