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 Post subject: Lanka minister tells EU to ban LTTE
 Post Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:47 am 
Lanka minister tells EU to ban LTTE

Surya Gangadharan
CNN-IBN / Tuesday , May 09, 2006


New Delhi: Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera warned that the Tigers are testing the government's patience.

While describing Colombo's recent airstrikes as being a limited and deterrent measure, he clarified that the onu for peace rested on the LTTE.

Samaraweera also demanded that the international community hit the Tigers where it hurt them the most.

"One of the first actions international community - especially the EU - could do is to bring stringent measures to stop and curtail the fund raising of the LTTE. And one of the measures they could consider is listing of LTTE in EU," Samaraweera said.

A worried India will only counsel from the sidelines and Samaraweera seemed understanding of India's political compulsions.

It chose to be non-commital about Indian weapons for the Lankan military. But he rejected reports of Colombo shopping for arms from Pakistan and China.

Samaraweera also openly termed Karuna's rebel Tiger faction as "terrorists", perhaps responding to international demands that Colombo cease backing Karuna's forces against Prabhakaran.

Samaraweera did not say how long his government would exercise restraint, but did admit that no one - least of all Prabhkaran - wanted an escalation of the conflict.

But the big question remains - Is the island nation headed for war? Perhaps not immediately.


(With Parul Malhotra)


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