An LTTE request for it to send a delegation to the funeral of Pope John Paul II on Friday was turned down by the Italian Foreign Ministry this week.
LTTE operatives in Europe had established contact with the Vatican and the Italian Government to have a delegation from the rebel group attend the funeral.
The request for an `invitation` came only a few days after an April 1 meeting the LTTE`s official delegation led by its political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan had with Italian Foreign Ministry officials as part of their European briefing tour.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka government delegation for the funeral of the Pope spent just one day in Rome before heading back home.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse who led the delegation mingled with US President George W. Bush and his father George H. Bush, former president Bill Clinton, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, French President Jacques Chirac, Jordan`s King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and held brief discussions with Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The other members of the delegation were Trade Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle, Christian Affairs Minister Milroy Fernando, ex-Speaker Joseph Michael Perera and MP Naomal Perera.
Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem and JVP MP Wimal Weerawansa were originally on the delegation, but opted out.