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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

Sri Lanka should make LTTE a legal entity to facilitate.....

[b]Sri Lanka should make LTTE a legal entity to facilitate talks - Ambassador Teresita Schaffer[/b]

Daya Gamage – An exclusive interview to Asian Tribune

[b]Indicates US should have higher contacts with it.[/b]

[b]Washington, 09 October, ([/b] In an exclusive interview given to Asian Tribune, the former United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Teresita Schaffer, presently the Director of the South Asia Program at the Washington think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies, advocates that Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should be made a legal entity to make it an equal partner with the Government of Sri Lanka to facilitate the re-opening of the stalled peace talks to bring a viable solution to Sri Lankan crisis.

Despite the LTTE’s refusal to accept the call of the international community to abandon its terrorist agenda to transform itself into a democratic movement, Ambassador Schaffer, whose counsel is still sought by senior US State Department officials on volatile issues in South Asia and whose research on South Asia undoubtedly a helping tool for the Department officials to get an in-depth analysis of the region’s trends and developments, indicated at the interview, though directly did not say, that contacts with the rebel group beyond the desk officer level at the State Department may help facilitate to find a final solution.

Schaffer points out that the Government of Sri Lanka has been engaged in talks with the LTTE because they recognized that this is the only organization that can prevent any solution from happening. But she was unhappy about leaving other democratic Tamil parties behind in the process.

The United States Government does not want to make a terrorist organization respectable because a terrorist organization should change if they want the world to take it seriously, said the former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka in this exclusive interview with Asian Tribune.

Following is the full text of the interview with Ambassador Teresita Schaffer:

Question: Sri Lanka, at one stage, faced a situation where there was state terrorism. Now, it’s no more, and the LTTE is the only organization that uses terror as part of its political agenda. How would you view US Ambassador to UN John Bolton’s following paragraph in a letter addressed to other 190 members of the World Body on eve of the UN Summit in September regarding the joint declaration on terrorism?

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