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23 April, 2006 - Published 13:55 GMT

EU ban on LTTE urged

The international community has been urged by the Sri Lanka government to exert more pressure on Tamil Tigers to re-engage in negotiations.

Plan Implementation minister Keheliya Rambukwella told journalists in Colombo that Sri Lanka is urging the donor co-chairs, facilitators and ceasefire monitors to impress upon the LTTE not to destroy the ‘goodwill gestures’ by the government.

The government accused the Tamil Tigers of using delaying tactics and ‘childish’ acts in order to avoid negotiations.

'Childish acts'

“However, we are still doing our utmost to go ahead with Geneva talks,” Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said.

Sri Lankan authorities have also urged European Union to consider proscribing the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, if the Tigers decided not to engage with negotiations.

Head of Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat, Dr. Palitha Kohona, said the government has been communicating with the European Community on a continuous basis.

“We expect the EU to go ahead with the threatened sanctions if the LTTE continues to behave in this appalling manner,” he said.

Eastern LTTE leaders

The parties were scheduled to meet in Geneva on 24 April but the Tigers have pulled out of talks protesting the suggestions by the government to transport their eastern leaders.

The LTTE insist that they should meet eastern commanders prior to Geneva talks but have rejected transport arrangements suggested by Colombo.

International truce monitors have criticised the Tiger’s decision not to use sea transport arranged after consultation with the senior LTTE leaders.

The violence escalated in the recent weeks in the north and east and Trincomalee port town has been marred with communal violence as uncertainty prevails on peace efforts.