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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

Sri Lanka Had Already Taken Steps to De-Ban LTTE...........

[b]Sri Lanka Had Already Taken Steps to De-Ban LTTE to Start Talks:Ambassador Schaffer Clarifies[/b]

Daya Gamage - US Correspondent to Asian Tribune

[b]Washington, D.C., 01 November, ( [/b]The former American Ambassador to Sri Lanka and currently Director of the South Asia Program in the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, Teresita Schaffer referring to her interview given to Asian Tribune on October 9 says that she did not advocate the de-banning and de-proscribing Sri Lanka’s LTTE, but what she said was that the Government of Sri Lanka “had already taken the step of de-banning, in order to start negotiations.”

Ambassador Schaffer’s exclusive interview with the Asian Tribune was carried in its 09 October edition.

Ms. Schaffer in a communication to the “Asian Tribune” said, “in response to your question about separating the terrorism issue and the Tamil national issue, I said, among other things, that the GSL had to de-ban or de-proscribe the LTTE; in other words, they had to make the LTTE a legal organization.”

By changing the tense, you quote me as recommending this - and then your lead and the paper’s headline quote me as recommending the others do the same thing, Ms. Schaffer noted.

She reminded the “Asian Tribune” that “in fact, I have said publicly both in Colombo in early July and at a (US) Congressional briefing in Washington D.C. on September 8, that the LTTE belongs on the U.S. government’s list of terrorist organizations until such time as they stop assassinating people, whether they be Sri Lankan officials or Tamil dissidents.”

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