PARIS, Sept 3, 2007 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan embassy in Paris claimed Monday that Tamil Tiger rebels vandalised its flag ahead of a visit by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama later this week. In a statement denouncing “intimidatory tactics” by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the embassy said “LTTE agents” destroyed its flag pole and the national flag and caused further damage to the premises early Sunday morning.
The embassy said three people wearing black jackets were seen roaming outside the building in Paris’s upmarket 16th district, shortly after midnight Saturday.
Sri Lanka has lodged a formal protest over the violation of its diplomatic premises to the French foreign ministry, which is working with police to investigate the incident, the embassy said.
It also called for a reinforcement of security during the two-day visit by the Sri Lankan foreign minister, starting on Wednesday, during which he is to meet his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner.
French police in April arrested 15 suspected members of the Tamil Tigers — considered a terrorist organsiation by the European Union — accused of running an extortion racket among Paris’ Sri Lankan community.