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Home  > Human Rights & Humanitarian Law > Armed Conflict & the Law > What is Terrorism? > Terrorism: European Union Law & Practise >  EU to keep LTTE in the black list but will inform reasons

Terrorism: European Union Law & Practise

EU to keep LTTE in black list but will inform reasons

24 April 2007

The LTTE will remain on the EU blacklist together with 29 other international rebel groups and more than 30 individuals, EU foreign ministers at a two day meeting in Luxembourg said in a statement yesterday.

The European Union however agreed to inform groups and people why they were put on its list of terrorist organisations, a move aimed at avoiding decisions being overturned in court. The EU`s reasoning will be officially published for the groups and individuals for whom it has no address.

Those listed will then have 30 days `to present their arguments` against the decision.

`The persons, groups and entities concerned will be informed via a statement of reason of the specific information that form the basis of the Council`s decision,` it said, adding the groups would be allowed to comment on the decisions.

The reasons for blacklisting would only be revealed if a blacklisted group agreed to it, the statement said.

The European Union last May placed the LTTE on their list of banned terrorists despite warnings from the rebel at the time that this could lead to full-blown civil war in Sri Lanka. The 25 member block unanimously agreed to the ban last year after Britain and other countries persuaded Sweden, Denmark and Finland to overcome their reservations.

Scandinavian countries were showing solidarity with Norway, which has acted as peace broker in Sri Lanka and strongly believes that proscribing the LTTE will be counter-productive.

The first direct casualty of the ban on the peace process in Sri Lanka was the SLMM. The LTTE demanded all EU representatives of the SLMM to withdraw resulting in the cease fire monitors having to be crippled for a short period.

Responding to the ban imposed last year the late rebel chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said the move was unfair, untimely and biased. He said the EU intervention would thus emerge as a serious impediment to reaching a just and lasting solution to Sri Lanka`s conflict.

The LTTE could not be contacted for a comment on the extension of the EU ban.

Europe`s second-highest court last year annulled an EU decision to freeze the funds of the People`s Mujahideen, the armed wing of France-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, for failing to give it a fair hearing or adequate reasons.

The European Union has kept the group on its blacklist, having sent a letter explaining its reasons.


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