LTTE challenges US designation

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The LTTE has challenged the US State department's designation as a 'terrorist' organization, according to one of its lawyers. The LTTE has formally filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington,D.C. said Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran.

The LTTE has asked a Federal Appeals court to set aside its designation by Secretary of State Albright as a foreign terrorist organization, according to a press release issued by its lawyers, Ramsey Clark Lawrence W Schilling from their offices in New York.

According to the press release, the LTTE application 'challenges the designation, the validity of the law and the procedures followed in making the designation'.

The US listing makes it illegal to provide funds and other tangible support to the organization and also prevents its representatives from entering the US.

The LTTE's legal challenge says that it is a national liberation movement and that it is employing 'legitimate political violence' as a last resort for self-defense.

'(The) LTTE is an organization representing the Tamil people who are being subjected to deadly violence, deprived of basic human rights and systematically discriminated against and persecuted as a people by the Sri Lankan government, dominated by the Sinhala people' according to the challenge papers.

In particular, the LTTE points out that it 'presents no threat to the security of the United States, and is not a terrorist organization as defined under the laws of the United States and under international law.'. The US had said it listed the LTTE as the organization posed a threat to US interests.

The LTTE's legal team includes a former Attorney General (under President Johnson) and a Professor of Law at Princeton University.

Related Articles:
11.10.97   LTTE responds to US terror listing
09.10.97   US says LTTE engages in terrorism


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