Sri Lanka banks on Europe to tame Tigers amid ‘major war’ threat

May 22, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka was banking on the European Union to tame Tamil Tiger guerrillas as the rebels warned that the killing of their top intelligence operative could force them into a “major war.” Scandinavian truce monitors have said that the February 2002 truce now existed only on paper. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said that the Sri Lankan army directly targeted their eastern region spy chief, identified as Ramanan, in violation of a ceasefire arranged by peace broker Norway.

“Ramanan’s death is a huge loss to the (eastern) Batticaloa Tamil people and the LTTE,” the rebel group said in a statement.

“The LTTE considers this attack is intended to end all efforts towards peace and drag the LTTE into a major war.”

The military setback for the Tigers came amid moves by the European Union to ban them as a terrorist organisation and cut off funding for their campaign.

Norway’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim was due here Friday to discuss the stalled peace efforts ahead of a crucial meeting in Tokyo later this month of aid donors, diplomatic sources said.

Sri Lankan government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said an EU-wide ban on the Tigers shou