LTTE responds to US terror listing

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The LTTE has formally responded to the US State Department's decision to include it on the list of organizations engaged in terrorism. Expressing both 'deep dismay and displeasure', the LTTE said that the State Department's decision would only serve to escalate the conflict.

In a statement distributed to the world's media, the Liberation Tigers said that it was 'regrettable' that the US 'has chosen to characterize and discredit the legitimate struggle of the Tamil people', pointing out that the US itself had won its right to self determination by violent struggle.

The LTTE said that the 'rather imprudent diplomatic move to placate Sri Lanka' was 'unfair, unfounded and irresponsible' and that it would 'encourage the racist Sinhala state to pursue its policy of war and military repression against the Tamils and thereby escalate the present armed conflict'.

The Tigers also pointed out that if the US intention was to undermine support for the LTTE by intimidating the expatriate Tamil community, then it was a 'serious miscalculation' as the Tamil community 'has an unshakable conviction in the legitimacy of our struggle and in the passionate yearning of our people for freedom from Sinhala domination and oppression'.

TamilNet has been informed by sources close to the LTTE that the organization will mount a legal challenge to the listing.

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