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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2586

EU ban LTTE officially : LTTE agrees to attend talks

Colombo, 30 May, ( The European Union today placed the Tamil Tigers on their list of banned terrorists. The decision will be formalized later by an official publication in EU’s Journal.

This is the biggest blow faced by the Tamil Tigers since they entered the peace talks negotiated by the Norwegian facilitators. Tigers are now on the banned list of 31 countries – i.e. 25 in the EU, plus USA, UK, Australia, India, Canada and Malaysia.

The EU ban will hinder fund raising in these key countries but also will be a loss of face for the LTTE which believed that they were a political organization recognized by the international community.

Hoping to avert the impending ban, the Tiger leadership mobilized their supporters in the Tamil Diaspora to lobby leading Western countries. But the EU was not deterred by either these demonstrations or by the threats issued by the Vanni leadership that it would lead to war.

Latest information reveals that it is the LTTE that has backtracked. Sources in Colombo state that the Tigers will attend the talks scheduled to be hold in Norway in June.
In the meantime, the four Co-chairs are due to meet tomorrow in Tokyo.

Diplomats are confident that they called off the bluff of the LTTE. LTTE put maximum pressure on the EU but their tactics failed.

Diplomats hailed the decision of the LTTE to attend talks. They also added that the international community will monitor the next moves of the LTTE carefully. “It is up to the LTTE to convince the world that they are for peace,” said one EU diplomat.

Political analysts believe that the LTTE will not go to war despite its bluff to do so if the EU imposes its ban.

In the meantime, Vanni leadership has announced that Anton Balasingham, the Chief Negotiator of the LTTE, will not lead the LTTE team at the next talks. Balasingham health condition is cited as the reason for his absence at the talks. But all other participants are expected to there, including S. P. Tamilselvan.

- Asian Tribune -

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