Declaration by Presidency on behalf of EU concerning listing of LTTE
as a terrorist organisation
BELGIUM: The Council of Europe in a press release
1. The Council of the European Union (EU) decided on 29 May 2006 to
include the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) on the EU list for
the application of specific measures to combat terrorism. This list
contains the names of persons, groups and entities against whom, for
reasons of their involvement in terrorist acts, specific restrictive
measures have to be taken, including:
- the freezing of funds and other financial assets or economic
resources of the persons and entities specified,
- a ban on the provision of funds, financial assets and economic
resources, and a ban on the provision of financial or other related
services, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of these persons,
groups and entities,
- police and judicial cooperation between EU Member States.
2. The decision of the EU to list the LTTE should come as a surprise
to nobody. Several warnings have already been provided to the LTTE,
which the LTTE has systematically ignored. In its statement of 27
September 2005 (12669/1/05) the EU stated that "it was actively
considering the formal listing of LTTE as a terrorist organisation".
The EU then called upon all parties to show commitment and
responsibility towards the peace process and to refrain from actions
that could endanger a peaceful resolution and political settlement of
the conflict. Unfortunately, this appeal has gone unheeded.
The decision of the EU to list the LTTE is based on the actions of
that organisation. The EU still sees a need for the LTTE to amend its
violent course and return to peace talks, and will maintain its dialogue
with the LTTE where such contacts, in the pursuit of the peace process,
may help to bring about a return to negotiations and an end to
violence. Listing the LTTE will not diminish the EU's determination to
play its role as one of the Tokyo co-chairs. The EU stresses that its
decision is directed at the LTTE, and not at the Tamil people.
3. At the same time, the EU calls upon the Sri Lankan authorities to
curb violence in Government controlled areas. In this regard, the EU
stands by all of the findings in the reports of the SLMM (Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission). The EU urges the Government of Sri Lanka to act
effectively on the commitment of President Rajapaksa to put a stop to
the culture of impunity and to clamp down on all acts of violence in
areas controlled by the Government. The EU further urges the Government
to ensure law and order for all citizens of Sri Lanka, and to
investigate and prosecute all cases of violence that have so far not
resulted in arrests or convictions.
4. The upsurge in violence is not caused by the LTTE alone. The EU
strongly urges the Sri Lankan authorities to curb violence in Government
controlled areas. The EU notes with concern the growing number of
reports of extrajudicial killings.
The EU views the activities of the Karuna Group in the gravest
possible light. These are clearly contributing to increased instability
in Sri Lanka, and further endanger the peace process. The EU intends to
keep the activities of the Karuna Group under close review, with a view
to considering possible further steps.
5. The EU will keep the situation in Sri Lanka under active review,
taking account of the activities of all parties to the conflict. It will
remain ready to adopt further measures as and when they may be warranted
by changing circumstances.
6. The European Union firmly believes that only a peacefully
negotiated settlement can ensure a lasting solution acceptable to all.
In this connection, the EU recalls the agreement reached in Oslo by all
the parties involved to explore a specific institutional solution for
Sri Lanka. It is the responsibility of all those concerned to act in the
interests of all the people of Sri Lanka.
The EU remains fully committed to the peace process in Sri Lanka. The
EU sincerely urges all parties to put an end to violence and to return
to the negotiation table, so as to relieve the Sri Lankan people from
the ordeal of twenty years of persistent conflict.
7. The EU remains firmly committed to assisting the Norwegian
facilitator in his work and to helping the two parties to the Ceasefire
Agreement in Sri Lanka to resolve their conflicts and find a long term
peaceful settlement for Sri Lanka.
This, however, requires real commitment to the peace process from
both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.
The EU clearly expects all parties to respect the role and physical
safety of the SLMM monitors.