Tigers agree to Oslo talks amid EU ban

May 29, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Monday banked on the European Union to ban the Tamil Tigers even as the rebels said they would agree to more talks to shore up the implementation of a fragile ceasefire. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) face the “terrorist” label across the 25-member European Union bloc following a meeting of ministers in Brussels later Monday, European diplomats said.

The threat of a ban as well as possible condemnation at a meeting of aid donors to Sri Lanka in Tokyo this week has put intense pressure on the rebels to mediate to help halt a surge in violence which has claimed about 600 lives since December.

A ban could lead to a crackdown on fundraising for the Tigers, who are accused by human rights organisations of extorting money from Tamils living abroad.

Ahead of the EU meeting, a pro-rebel website reported that the group’s political leader had accepted an invitation by peace broker Norway to attend a two-day meeting on June 8 to discuss the role of ceasefire monitors.

“Our leadership has accepted Norways invitation to attend the talks in Oslo,” Nitharsanam.com quoted leader S. P. Thamilselvan as saying.

However, the website said the guerrillas