With the European Union planning to list the LTTE as a terrorist organization, political parties have expressed various opinions on the impending move. The main Opposition UNP yesterday stressed the need to get peace talks with the LTTE back on track using the international momentum that would be created should the EU name the LTTE as a terrorist group.
UNP Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the Daily Mirror the government should not be complacent about the ban and ignore talks with the LTTE on finding a political solution to the national question.
Mr. Attanayake said the LTTE should not be allowed to act independently in the present context of it now being free of international commitments but make maximum use of this opportunity to start talks with the LTTE. Meanwhile, the TNA who acts as proxy for the LTTE said Contd. the Tigers could now act independently ignoring the international community and therefore eventually a ban was bound to have a negative impact on the peace process.
TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said the international community would have no leverage on the LTTE in future.
When asked about possible obstacles for LTTE fund raising and arms purchasing after the ban, Mr. Premachandran said there were other ways of overcoming these obstacles.
He said the organization even though the LTTE was banned in the United States and Britain, the organization continued to conduct its business.
The JHU welcomed the EU move saying the ban was being imposed at a time when world opinion was against terrorism.
JHU parliamentary group leader Ven. Aturaliye Ratana Thera said the government should capitalize on the situation to wipe out terrorism.
Asked whether they were for talks with the LTTE, he said ?There is no peace talks with the LTTE. There is only terrorism which should be eliminated. Why should we talk to them further even after the assassination attempt on the Army Commander?
The JVP yesterday praised the EU and all its member countries that supported the possible ban on the LTTE and said it would be best only if the LTTE was completely banned in their countries too.
JVP parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa said this decision showed there world opinion was against the LTTE.
?This ban would only be bear fruit only if the EU bans all sorts of LTTE activities including collecting funds. The LTTE might not collect funds directly under its name but could do it under the cover of other organizations,? he said while noting that although Britain had banned the LTTE, its chief negotiator Anton Balasingham still lived in London.
SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said banning the LTTE by the EU would not solve the North-East problem.
Mr. Ali explained that many countries such as Britain, US, Canada and India banned the LTTE several years ago but the Tigers have continued to carry out their activities in Sri Lanka without much hindrance and said LTTE activities would still continue even after the EU ban as well.
He said the government must do its best to bring the LTTE to the negotiation table by making an effective change in the way peace talks were conducted. Mr. Ali said peace talks should shift from discussing only the ceasefire agreement and move towards addressing the real issues. ?If the government continued to talk only on the ceasefire and military issues it is not going to see an end to the problem,? he said