UK ban imposes restraints on peace process - LTTE

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 February 2001, 16:23 GMT]
Britain’s decision to include the Liberation Tigers on the list of proscribed terrorist organizations “will impose severe restraints” on the Norwegian initiative, the LTTE said Wednesday. The ban will “adversely affect Tamil interests and severely undermine the current peace initiatives [and] will encourage the repressive Sri Lankan regime to be more uncompromising, intransigent and to adopt a military path of State violence, terrorism and war” the LTTE’s chief negotiator Anton Balasingham was quoted as saying in a statement. However, the LTTE said that “irrespective of the British ban the Tamil Tigers would continue with the peace process and co-operate with the Norwegian facilitatory efforts.”

The full text of the press release follows:

The British decision to include the LTTE on the list of proscribed terrorist organisations will impose severe restraints on the current peace initiatives undertaken by the Norwegian Government to resolve the civil war in Sri Lanka. So declared Mr. Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator and political advisor of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) commenting on the inclusion of his political movement on the list of proscribed organisations announced by the Home Secretary Jack Straw in the British Parliament this afternoon.

Mr. Balasingham stated: “It is regrettable that our liberation movement, the authentic representative organisation of the Sri Lankan Tamils, which has been fighting for the political rights of our people for the last 25 years, is included on the list of proscribed organisations in Britain. It is a sad day for the Anglo-Tamil relations. The Tamil people, who have been collectively campaigning as a single voice against the proposed ban will be seriously disappointed by the British decision. The proscription will adversely affect the Tamil interests and severely undermine the current peace initiatives. Furthermore, the British decision will encourage the repressive Sri Lankan regime to be more uncompromising, intransigent and to adopt a military path of State violence, terrorism and war”.

Mr. Balasingham further said that the decision to include the Tamil Tigers in the proscribed list was taken primarily on the logical criteria of the legislation which provides a wider definition of terrorism to include all forms of legitimate armed political struggles for freedom and dignity. “The British decision makers have paid scant regard to the lengthy and complex history of the Tamil political struggle, the ugly history of the genocidal mode of State repression and the glorious history of armed resistance against repression and gross violations of human rights. The British ban of the LTTE is a triumph for Buddhist racism and fascism and a severe blow to peace and justice”, the LTTE’s chief negotiator observed.

Mr. Balasingham declared that irrespective of the British ban the Tamil Tigers would continue with the peace process and co-operate with the Norwegian facilitatory efforts. “The peace initiatives depend precariously on the leniency or the harshness in which this draconian legislation will be implemented by the law enforcing agencies in Britain”, Mr Balasingham said.

 

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