COLOMBO, May 31, 2006 (AFP) – The European Union, which earlier in the week banned Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels, said Wednesday it was willing to take “further measures” to push the warring parties back to the negotiating table.
A declaration by the EU presidency, currently held by Austria, said the ban on Tamil Tiger rebels should not have come as a surprise, but the Sri Lankan government too must curb violence in areas under its control.
“The EU will keep the situation in Sri Lanka under active review, taking account of the activities of all parties to the conflict,” a seven-point declaration said.
“It will remain ready to adopt further measures as and when they may be warranted by changing circumstances.”
It did not spell out the possible measures, but noted that the escalation of violence in the island, where more than 600 people were killed since December despite a 2002 truce, was not the fault of the the Tamil Tigers alone.
“The upsurge in violence is not caused by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) alone,” said the declaration, a copy of which was sent here by the EU delegation in Colombo.
“The EU strongly urges the Sri Lankan authorities to curb violence in government-controlled