US encouraging EU to ban Tigers
COLOMBO: The US has encouraged the European Union (EU) to list
the LTTE [as a banned organisation], US State Department's Principal
Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald
Camp stated yesterday.
"We think the LTTE is very deserving of that label. We think it will
help cut off financial supplies and weapons procurement and the like,"
Camp told national television Rupavahini in an exclusive interview.
Camp said he came to Sri Lanka "because of our concern about the
developing situation in Sri Lanka".
"The trend lines are discouraging in terms of the increasing
provocations by the LTTE, the fact that killings are increasing, all of
these suggest that Sri Lanka is not on the way back to a lasting
Ceasefire. We would like to do everything we can, as an outside party,
to encourage a return to the peace process," he remarked.
He disclosed that the Co-Chairs [US, EU, Norway, Japan] would be
meeting in a few weeks. "So I'm here to look at what we might do to
encourage that progress back to the peace process." He called on the
LTTE to re-assess its methods and abandon terrorism, as that was the
only way it can really have a future in a united Sri Lanka.
Q: What do you see as the solution to the ethnic issue ?
A: I don't think that it is really our role, as an outsider,
to prescribe a solution to the conflict, or the dilemma in which Sri
Lanka finds itself. I do think people of all persuasions, of all ethnic
groups, of all political parties, need to get together and present a
united front, and decide that Sri Lanka's future will be peace and
prosperity and democracy and territorial integrity, rather than the
Asked what the US can say to help Sri Lanka during this war of
aggression launched by the LTTE, especially if Prabhakaran escalates it
into full-scale conflict, Camp said Sri Lanka would continue to receive
the moral support and the diplomatic support of the United States.
"Certainly, the LTTE is a terrorist group of the first order. That
said there's no question that the Government of Sri Lanka has
responsibilities as well.
One of those, which the Government has certainly acknowledged, is to
address the legitimate grievances of the Tamil people. That includes, of
course, dealing with the disturbing number of killings in recent months.
This is something the Government has said it will investigate. We
think those investigations should be carried out promptly and thoroughly
- we think it is the responsibility of the Government to uphold law and
order, and that is a responsibility of any democratic Government."
Q: The LTTE's Sea Tiger leader Soosai, told the BBC once: "Organisations
like al-Qaeda are already copying us. They're using our tactics, in
Yemen they used our strategy of suicide attacks to blow up an American
ship." Your comments as America leads the war on terror ?
A: The LTTE should not be proud of its claim to be the
originator of suicide bombings as a tactic. In fact, they were not; our
Marine barracks were attacked in 1983, in Lebanon [by suicide bombers].
The LTTE should abandon terrorism.