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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

The Most Elusive Word

[b]The Most Elusive Word [/b]

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

[b]United Nations, 02 December, (IPS):[/b] When a Sri Lankan lawyer, Rohan Perera, was elected to chair the U.N. Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism about eight years ago, a Western diplomat jokingly told him he was going to be "chairman for life"-- because "the United Nations will never agree on a legal definition of terrorism".

As expected, the world body has once again failed to agree on the 14th -- and perhaps the final -- international convention against terrorism, primarily because delegates remain deadlocked over definitions relating to "terrorists," "freedom fighters" and "state terrorism".

With the U.N. Secretary-General disheartened by the lack of agreement, his spokesman told reporters Thursday that Kofi Annan was "disappointed to learn" that the U.N.'s legal committee has failed to reach agreement on a draft "comprehensive convention on international terrorism".

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