LTTE ban to be challenged in European Court

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 February 2011, 00:07 GMT]
The proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the European Union will be challenged in the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Luxembourg, said Amsterdam based lawyer Victor Koppe while giving an exclusive interview to TamilNet, Tuesday. Unlike the previous legal instances, now there is direct community involvement. Eezham Tamils in the legal field are actively involved in making this case, and the move is backed by a democratically elected body of Eezham Tamils in Switzerland, the Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils (SCET), said Arulnithila Deivendran, the spokesperson for the SCET. The attitude of governments to negate the sovereignty of Eezham Tamils by deliberately confusing it with the LTTE, has prompted the legal action, she further said.

Victor Koppe represents an Amsterdam-based law firm with wide range of expertise in International Law and European Law. Mr. Koppe, having experience in presenting cases in the tribunals on Cambodia and Sierra Leone, recently took up some cases of Eezham Tamils in the Netherlands, prosecuted for alleged involvement with the LTTE.

The EU declared the LTTE a terrorist organisation in 2006, following the earlier proscriptions of the USA and Canada. The ban criminalises any activity that could be connected to the LTTE. But, there are some good arguments why the LTTE cannot be considered a terrorist organisation and why the ban in the EU is legally flawed, Victor Koppe told TamilNet. The arguments have never been heard in a European Court of Law, he further said.

The LTTE is an organisation fighting for the fundamental rights of the Tamils, which is acceptable to the charter of the UN and the international treaties, is the position taken by Koppe.

The EU has recently extended the ban for another six months and the ban has to be challenged within a stipulated period of two months.

The ban was imposed by the EU in 2006 despite advanced opinion against it expressed by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) of the Nordic countries constituted to monitor the Cease Fire Agreement between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka.

The countries that constituted the SLMM, except Norway and Iceland, were Member States of the EU.

Following the ban, LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan requested replacement of the SLMM officials coming from the EU Member States monitoring the CFA.

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External Links:
European Parliament: European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka



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