Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil
US does not recognise LTTE transitional government
- and renews listing of LTTE as terrorist organisation
Easwaran Rutnam in Sinhala Owned SriLanka Daily Mirror
24 June 2009
[see also Krishna Ambalavanar-
The United States says it does not recognize the
government of Tamil Eelam announced by the LTTE head of international
relations S. Pathmanathan and once again listed the Tigers as a terrorist outfit
following its latest review.
Speaking during a live web chat last night from the US State Department, senior
U.S. State Department official Gregg Sullivan said that although the US welcomed
reports that the LTTE has renounced violence and will now pursue its objectives
through peaceful means there is a long way to go before the Tigers can be
considered a reliable entity.
“Towards the end of the conflict, their (LTTE) efforts to keep civilians in the
war zone, block their departure from war-ravaged areas and their firing from
civilian areas put civilians at risk. They're going to have to demonstrate
clearly that the tactics they've used for the last 30 years really are in the
past. Aside from the passage of time and a
clear record of constructive engagement, I'm not sure I have any other advice
for how the LTTE shows a different face to the world. But, the case of Libya
illustrates how a nation or organization can change its terrorist path and chart
a new course. All I can say is we'll be watching for clear signs of such a
change,” he said in response to a question posed by Daily Mirror.The U.S has
designated the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization since 1997 and that
designation remains in effect because of their consistent use of methods that
both deliberately and indirectly target civilians.
Under that designation, the US has restricted LTTE funding operations, their
travel, and their organization activities through various laws and seizure of
assets. Mr. Sullivan said that following a five-year review the decision was
taken to continue listing the LTTE as a terrorist entity with all the
restrictions on their activities.
“We have long condemned their use of terrorist tactics, including assassination,
kidnappings, suicide bombings, and intimidation of the local population. Nor, do
we recognize the Provisional Transnational Government Government of Tamil Eelam.
We do not take issue with the Sri Lankan Government’s view of the LTTE as a
terrorist entity or their efforts to counter their terrorist activity,” he said.
The senior US official also said that despite the activities of the LTTE, there
is an essential element that needs to be addressed if Sri Lanka is going to meet
its aspirations as a stable, tolerant, unified, and democratic nation.
“I want to underscore that our highest priorities in Sri Lanka right now are
addressing the humanitarian needs of the displaced population, facilitating
their prompt return to their homes, helping the Government of Sri Lanka heal the
wounds of the conflict, and working toward building a democratic, prosperous,
tolerant and united Sri Lanka. One of our paramount goals is to convince the Sri
Lankan Government that it is in their own interest to reach out to Tamils and
promote political reconciliation. Responsible Tamil leaders need to come forward
to engage with the Sri Lankan Government constructively,” he said.On the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan the US official said that Sri Lanka and
the IMF are currently in the process of negotiating a Stand-by Arrangement and
the US is taking a fresh look at the agreement. He however insisted the US is
not threatening to block the loan and we will carefully assess any program in
light of the conditions in Sri Lanka at the time.
“We are The Department of Treasury is in the lead for the U.S. Government on IMF
issues and we will coordinate closely with them as the Sri Lankan Government-IMF
negotiations proceed,” he said.
He noted that right now Sri Lanka has an opportunity to get back to its status
in the 1980s as one of the ''Asian Tigers'' with vigorous economic growth. If
the Sri Lankan Government moves forward with policies that embrace the civilian
Tamil community, bring the Tamils into the reconstruction process, empower
responsible Tamil leaders through implementation of the 13th Amendment, and
foster a new political and economic integration of the Sinhala and minority
communities, it can be an example for all other countries that have suffered
ethnic conflict, he said.