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Ban sending clear message to LTTE - Peace Secretariat

COLOMBO: Deputy Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat Kethesh Loganathan, commenting on the EU ban on the LTTE, said the ban is a clear message to the LTTE of the international community's condemnation of LTTE's behaviour and conduct.

"It is now up to the LTTE to re-think its policies and strategy and abandon its attacks on humanity and human rights in the name of liberation. The LTTE must realise that it is only an authentic transformation that can lead to the lifting of the ban in the future and an end to its isolation in the international community. The LTTE must also seize the opportunity to engage in principled negotiations with the Government to find a dignified and a durable solution to the ethnic conflict," he said.

Loganathan said one should also be mindful of the clear message coming from the Donor Co-Chairs, following their review meeting in Tokyo, of the Government's responsibilities in coming out with an imaginative political solution to the National Question.

"The Government has already indicated in its statement issued soon after the EU ban was announced that it does not consider war to be an option and that it would pursue with renewed vigour the search for a political solution within an undivided Sri Lanka based on maximum devolution of power, democracy and pluralism.

A burden also lies with the Government to bring to an end all unexplained killings and human rights abuses in the Government-controlled areas, irrespective of from where it originates."

The Daily News also spoke to several religious dignitaries, professionals and academics in this regard.

Fr. Cyril Gamini from Colombo said this would put pressure on the LTTE on different fronts. "They are isolated in the international community. This we can believe would reduce the chances of LTTE's going back to war."

He said the ban indicates the international community's disapproval of the violence and this presents the Government with a very good opportunity to exert pressure on the LTTE to bring them back to the negotiating table.

"The Government should at this time focus its attention on the resumption of talks and employ all its resources towards achieving that. Unless the Government and the LTTE sit down to talk we cannot think about a peaceful future."

Lecturer, University of Colombo Rohan Edrisinhe said the past conduct of the LTTE was very problematic and there had been many killings and serious violations of basic human rights.

The ban is the international Community's warning that they do not want to tolerate the culture of violence any more.

"I do not think one should consider the ban as a triumph.

The ban has to looked at how it could help resume the stalled talks."

He said there should be pressure on the Government as well to resume talks and to show more respect to the internationally accepted laws. Commenting on the LTTE statement on returning to war if a ban was imposed, Edrisinhe said it would be difficult for the LTTE to do so.

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