Sri Lanka seeks Tiger ban in Europe as toll hits 14

Apr. 23 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Sunday asked the European Union to designate Tamil Tiger rebels as terrorists, saying such a move could nudge them into resuming talks on a collapsing ceasefire. The request came as 14 more people were killed in fresh violence linked to the latest clashes with Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the island’s embattled northern and eastern regions.

The government said it expected the 25-member EU to press ahead with a threatened move to list the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a “terrorist organisation” and cut off overseas funding.

“We expect the European Union to go ahead with the threatened sanctions if the LTTE continues to behave in this appalling manner and engages in terrorism,” the head of the government’s peace secretariat Palitha Kohona said.

Kohona said they expected an EU-wide ban on the LTTE to encourage the guerrillas to participate in talks in Switzerland, a non-EU member, and discuss how to save a ceasefire in place since 2002.

He said the LTTE had been giving “flimsy excuses” for staying away from the talks originally slated for April 19 in Switzerland, and then rescheduled for April 24.

Last week the Tigers postponed the talk