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Lankan Prez wants more nations to ban LTTE

Rajapaksa said foreign Govts should do more to stop the flow of money and weapons going to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 15:29 IST

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday called on more countries to follow the lead of the European Union and label the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organisation.

In an opinion piece in the Asian Wall Street Journal, Rajapaksa said foreign governments should do more to stop the flow of money and weapons going to the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"In today's global war on terror, every terrorist is a threat to the world as a whole, and our struggle against the Tamil Tigers should be seen in this context," Rajapaksa wrote.

Rajapaksa particularly asked foreign governments to crack down on the Tigers' access to weapons from places such as Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and Central Asian republics.

In addition, he said the Tigers had extensive arms-smuggling operations in Thailand.

Rajapaksa also called on Middle Eastern countries to follow the European Union's lead in banning the Tigers given that many expatriate Tamils work there.

"These citizens are extorted by Tamil Tiger agents in their workplaces, who beat up workers who refuse to make regular contributions from their wages," he wrote.

His comments come as the island witnesses some of its worst violence in recent years.

More than 600 people have been killed since December despite a 2002 truce, and many that the country is headed for all-out civil war.

But Rajapaksa reiterated that he ruled out a military option to resolve the long-running conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.

First Published: Jun 01, 2006 15:29 IST