A European Union representative in Colombo yesterday said the EU ban on the LTTE would be lifted only if the Tigers renounced terrorism and stopped killing government representatives and opposition Tamil leaders.
The EU official, speaking to the Daily Mirror in the aftermath of the killing of Government Peace Secretariat Deputy head Kesthishwaran Loganathan stressed the need for the LTTE to respect the alternative intellectual Tamil and opposition opinions.
He said if the LTTE adopted this approach instead of claiming to be the sole representative of the Tamil people it would no longer be considered ?out casts? by the EU.
However, he said the de-listing of the LTTE as a terrorist organization would be a multifaceted process requiring the support of EU`s 25 member states.
The representative, who wished to remain anonymous said the EU ban on the LTTE, must not be seen as an act against the Tamil people but a move purely against LTTE terrorist acts.
He said the LTTE ban in no way signified support for the current violence and urged the government to do its share in contributing to peace, adding that the current trend of violence could mark ?the beginning of a new war?.
The representative expressed deep concern regarding the violence particularly in Mawil Aru, Mutur and the claymore attacks in Colombo, Kandy and Batticaloa ? the most recent being the attempt on the life of Pakistan High Commissioner Bashir Wali Mohammed.
He urged both parties to stop the bloodshed, stop violating the ceasefire agreement and return to the negotiating table immediately, noting that Norwegian Special Peace Envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer was also pessimistic about the peace process in his recent visit to the country
The EU reiterated its support for Norway as peace facilitator but said it was difficult for Norway to do its job, as both parties at present seemed to prefer a militarily alternative.
He raised concern about the high number of human rights violations taking place and made special mention of the gunning down of 17 aid workers attached to the French charity Action Contre Le Faim in Mutur.
?We expect a thorough investigation to the killings and urge that those responsible for this terrible deed be punished?, he said.
He expressed confidence the Government would bring the assassins to book, adding that human rights violations of this nature impedes good governance.
With the JVP planning to present anti NGO legislation in parliament soon, the EU representative expressed concern about the hostile attitude towards NGOs and wanted an assurance from the government that NGOs were welcome in this country.
He said the government must give aid workers safety and security.
Commenting why the EU gave into the LTTE demand for SLMM members from EU countries Denmark, Sweden and Finland to leave by September 1, the representative explained that the EU was not directly involved with the SLMM other than that citizens from member countries serve inn the monitoring body.
However, he expressed disappointment at the LTTE stance saying the move would weaken the SLMM as Iceland and Norway was unable to bridge the void created by those who left.