LTTE to appeal against UK ban

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 April 2001, 09:06 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers are preparing to appeal against their proscription under Britain's Terrorism Act and were putting together a legal team for this purpose, Tamil media sources said Tuesday, quoting the LTTE's chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham. "We are already in consultation with eminent lawyers in the field of terrorist legislation and we are advised to apply to the Home Secretary for de-proscription," Balasingham was quoted as saying by sources with the Tamil Guardian weekly.

anton_balasingham_1.jpgThe newspaper is to publish an interview with the LTTE's London-based chief negotiator in this week's issue, due today, the sources said.

Mr. Balasingham, a British citizen, said the UK's ban was hampering the Norwegian facilitated peace process. "My freedoms and liberties as the chief negotiator representing our organisation in the peace process is severely constrained by the proscription."

"Though I am liable for prosecution under the logic of this legislation I continue to live in London and function in the capacity of the chief negotiator. My precarious health prevents me from travelling to distant places or to live elsewhere," he explained.

Mr. Balasingham has urged the Tamil public to rally behind the LTTE's legal effort to seek de-proscription, noting that the ban "has caused widespread dismay and resentment amongst the Tamil communities around the world."

However, Mr. Balasingham criticised the actions of some London based expatriate organisations which, claiming to have the endorsement of the LTTE, had begun collecting funds saying that they intended to contest the UK's proscription.

He said those involved were "misleading the people [and] are trying to undertake unilateral and disparate legal action in their own personal interests and ambitions, squandering huge public funds in the process."

 

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