Sri Lanka fights shy from banning Tamil Tigers

The Sri Lankan government says it’s still too premature to ban the Tamil Tiger rebels, following the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on Friday. The Sri Lankan government says it’s still too premature to ban the Tamil Tiger rebels, following the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on Friday. “It’s quite premature at this moment,” Cabinet spokesman Nimal Siripala de Silva told reporters on Sunday, when asked if the government had taken a decision to ban the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Ealam or LTTE.

Instead, Sri Lanka is asking the international community to put pressure on the rebels to stop eliminating political opponents and honour the ceasefire agreement.

“The government is committed to peace and we will take the decision [to ban the LTTE] at the correct time,” Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse said flanked by representatives from a cross section of political parties.

“The international community must put pressure on the LTTE to stop killings,” Rajapakse said.

Sri Lanka banned the LTTE on Jan. 26 1998 following the bombing of Buddhists sacred shrine – the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. But the ban was lifte