GENEVA, Oct 28, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tiger rebels, who are in Geneva for peace talks Saturday, have been outlawed by the European Union, the United States and several other countries, but the international community still wants them at the negotiating table. The United States describes Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers as “reprehensible terrorists,” and the 25-member EU banned them in May. The group’s trade mark suicide bombings regularly put them in news headlines.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out their biggest suicide bombing less than two weeks before their meeting with government representatives this weekend in Geneva, killing 116 people, mostly sailors, in Sri Lanka’s northeastern region of Habarana on October 16.
The truck bombing stunned the military establishment which had been riding on success for several months.
“It is difficult to negotiate with them because if they don’t like something, they simply threaten to go back to fighting,” a member of the Sri Lankan government delegation said.
“We are talking to them because of their firepower.”
The Tigers have refused to disband their elite group of suicide bombers known as “Black Tigers” who have often helped the group to reverse battlefield losses with their Kam