UNP leader writes to EU on ruling over LTTE

Law courtsOpposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has written to the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini urging the to file an appeal against the EU court order on the LTTE.

Wickremesinghe said that he had sent the letter after he found that the Government was not taking any firm action on the EU court order.

EU judges had last month struck down anti-terrorism sanctions imposed on the LTTE by the European Union, citing a technicality, but said that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.

The bloc’s lower court said a decision by EU leaders in 2006 to place the LTTE on a list of terrorist organisations had been based on “imputations derived from the press and the Internet” rather than on direct investigation of the group’s actions, as required by law.

It said in a statement that the EU had also failed, when following Indian sanctions on the Tigers, to ensure that India gave sufficient judicial protection to those it accused.

However, the court rejected the LTTE’s contention that it was exempt from EU anti-terrorism legislation because it was engaged in an “armed conflict” with the Sri Lankan government and bound by the laws of war. The court, which stressed it was taking no view on whether the LTTE was a terrorist organisation, said EU laws on terrorism also applied to armed conflicts.

Saying that sanctions might be applied in future against the Tigers, who were defeated militarily in 2009, the court said assets that were frozen should remain so “temporarily”. (Colombo Gazette)

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