‘No talks on lifting ban on LTTE’

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Friday clarified that there was no discussion on the issue of lifting of ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the recent meeting between the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in London.

Mr. Samaraweera, who was present in the meeting, gave the clarification in response to questions raised by Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nimal Siripala De Silva, on the floor of the House. [In January 2009, four months before the end of the Eelam War IV, the Sri Lankan government proscribed the LTTE on the ground that it has been holding civilians human shields in the north where the military is engaged in a war with the Tigers.]

Apart from TNA Member of Parliament M.A. Sumanthiran, GTF’s Suren Surendiran, M.S. Jayasinghe of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation and one representative each from the South African and Swiss governments, the Minister said two former Norwegian envoys, Tore Hattrem and Eric Solheim, took part in the discussion.

no-tamil-eelamEstablishing links with the diaspora

Mr. Samaraweera said he had been making efforts to “re-establish ties with countries that had alienated us over the years and with sections of the Sri Lankan diaspora,” who had left the country to live overseas. He was being guided by recommendations of the the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

The Minister expressed the hope that it was “most likely” that the diaspora groups which were previously hostile to Sri Lanka would issue a declaration “renouncing violence and committing themselves to work towards a united, undivided Sri Lanka.”