US asks Europe to ban Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers

May 16, 2006 (AFP) – The United States has asked the European Union to follow its lead and ban Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers as a terrorist group, a visiting US State Department official said Tuesday. “We have encouraged the EU to list the LTTE” as a terrorist group, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Camp said at the end of his two-day visit.

“We think the LTTE is very deserving of that label. We think it will help cut off financial supplies and weapons procurement and the like.”

Violence between the government and the rebels has surged in the past month with more than 200 people killed despite a four-year truce in an ethnic conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.

The US banned the LTTE in October 1997, five years after India proscribed the LTTE after accusing the guerrillas of involvement in the assassination of former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi.

Britain banned the Tigers in February 2001 while the EU in October slapped travel restrictions on them after holding the LTTE responsible for the August 2005 assassination of Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

However, Camp said that Washington would continue to