Outlaw groups linked to LTTE, Sri Lanka tells EUJanuary 28th, 2009 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS
Brussels, Jan 28 (IANS) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has asked the European Union to include groups linked to the Tamil Tigers on its terrorist list, EuAsiaNews reported Wednesday.Bogollagama made the appeal to the 27-member European Union here Tuesday referring specifically to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), allegedly a front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
If organisations such as TRO were not put on the terror list, “they will become a lifeline for the LTTE in collecting funds and in procuring arms”, he said. The LTTE is already on the EU list of terrorist organisations.
Bogollagama was in Brussels for talks with EU officials to enhance his country’s economic, trade and political ties with the European bloc.
Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Brussels, Ravinatah Aryasinha, said Colombo had asked the EU in June 2008 to ban TRO and other front organisations of the LTTE operating in France, Denmark, Britain, Italy and Belgium.
Aryasinha said: “Sometimes they (Tigers) hide behind Indian organisations, the Tamil Sangam, and they use charities and language schools to glorify martyrdom, to try to make the next generation follow the same path.”
Bogollagama welcomed the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo Tuesday, saying that bilateral ties had reached “an unprecedented level of depth at this moment”.
Responding to international concerns about the safety of civilians trapped in the fighting, he said his government had taken measures to establish a safe corridor so “that civilians being held by the LTTE as human shield can escape to safe ground”.
“We have set up no-fire zones for the protection of civilians and we encourage the civilians to move into the no-fire area,” he said.
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