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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2963

European Union to discuss case against LTTE: UK’s sincerity

[b]European Union to discuss case against LTTE: UK’s sincerity on the line [/b]

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor, Asian Tribune

[b]London, 04 September, ([/b] The European Union is due to discuss very shortly Sri Lanka’s appeal to have the LTTE added to the EU’s list of terrorist organisations.

If the EU does so, several sanctions will follow including a ban on travel to European capitals by LTTE leaders, a ban on fundraising and other severe restrictions.

A committee of officials from EU member states that deals with such issues is expected to meet in Brussels this month to study the case presented by Sri Lanka for concerted action against the LTTE following the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on 12 August, informed sources in Brussels said.

The officials’ committee is to consider a note to member states from the UK as the current president of the EU concerning the issues raised by Sri Lanka. Colombo has said that all the available evidence points to the LTTE having carried out the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar who had earlier led the charge against the LTTE and canvassed for it to be banned as a terrorist organisation.

Kadirgamar was on top of the LTTE “hit” list along with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and another Tamil Minister Douglas Devananda, according to the Sri Lanka media and commentators.

Several attempts were made against Devananda, including an attempt to assassinate him in Canada, if a person that Canada is trying to deport as a danger to public safety, is to be believed.

France a founder member of the European Union and a heavyweight in the organisation is said to be strongly in favour of EU action against the LTTE, diplomatic sources said.

However Norway that plays the role of mediator in the Sri Lanka conflict is opposed to any sanctions against the LTTE. Norway has sought the support of other Nordic countries that in 2002 also opposed an EU move to have the LTTE added to its list of terrorist organisations.

This followed a December 2001 EU resolution after the terrorist attack on the US on 9/11. The West, led by the US, and then launched a global war on terror. When the EU prepared its list of terrorist organisations, the LTTE was to be added to it. But Norway, which many observers in Sri Lanka and elsewhere argue has close links to the LTTE, was against it. Norway got the support of Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands to kill the move reliable sources said.

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