Sri Lanka president calls on more nations to label Tigers terrorists

HONG KONG, June 1, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse Thursday called on more countries to follow the lead of the European Union and label the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization. In an opinion piece in the Asian Wall Street Journal, Rajapakse said foreign governments should do more to stop the flow of money and weapons going to the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“In today’s global war on terror, every terrorist is a threat to the world as a whole, and our struggle against the Tamil Tigers should be seen in this context,” Rajapakse wrote.

Rajapakse particularly asked foreign governments to crack down on the Tigers’ access to weapons from places such as Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and Central Asian republics.

In addition, he said the Tigers had extensive arms-smuggling operations in Thailand.

Rajapakse also called on Middle Eastern countries to follow the European Union’s lead in banning the Tigers given that many expatriate Tamils work there.

“These citizens are extorted by Tamil Tiger agents in their workplaces, who beat up workers who refuse to make regular contributions from their wages,” he wrote.

His comments come as the island witness