The government will fight efforts to lift ban on the LTTE in the UK – Foreign Ministry

FILE PHOTO – Pro-LTTE groups stage protest in London

ECONOMYNEXT – The door has opened for the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the United Kingdom to be lifted by a recent judgment in that country, but Sri Lanka will act to keep the proscription, the government said today.

Colombo said it has “sufficient evidence to prove that the remnants of the LTTE and groups aligned with its terrorist ideology are active in foreign countries, working to incite violence and destabilize the country.”

Britain’s Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission has found that a 2001 decision to keep the ban on the LTTE was “flawed” and unlawful, and may open the way for the proscription to be lifted.

This is only the second time in the Commission’s history that such an appeal has been heard in the past twenty years the Tamil Guardian reported.

The judgment issued yesterday October 21 could lead the Commission to instruct the UK Home Secretary to lay a statutory instrument before parliament that may ultimately remove the LTTE from the list of proscribed organisations in the UK.

The UK government, however, is unlikely to do so and sent the matter back to the Home Secretary to make a new decision based on all evidence.

The so-called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam said they hope the ban would be lifted “as it is not legitimate,” the Tamil Guardian reported.

In Colombo, the Foreign Ministry said the government “has been made aware of the Open Judgement by the Proscribed Organizations Appeals Commission (POAC) of the United Kingdom dated 21 October 2020.”

In a statement, the Ministry said the decision follows an application filed by “an LTTE front organisation” challenging the decision of the UK Home Secretary in March 2019 which refused the application by the group to de-proscribe the LTTE.

“While the Government of Sri Lanka was not a party to these proceedings at the POAC and could not make direct representations, the Government has assisted the Government of the United Kingdom by providing relevant information with regard to continued terrorist activities,” it added.

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“The Government of Sri Lanka has sufficient evidence to prove that the remnants of the LTTE and groups aligned with its terrorist ideology are active in foreign countries, working to incite violence and destabilize the country. Sri Lanka remains vigilant of threats to its national security as well as that of the region, and will always support members of the international community in the global fight against terrorism” it added. (Colombo, October 22, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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