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U.S. could help fix LTTE on money flows

Thursday 18 May 2006

Diplomatic Correspondent

LTTE, a banned organisation under U.S. law since 1997

Obtaining political legitimacy is important for the LTTE: U.S. official It is up to India to join Sri Lankan peace process, says Camp Tigers undeterred by the loss of political credibility "U.N. role in Sri Lanka can be expanded"

NEW DELHI: A visiting American official, who arrived here from Colombo, indicated that the United States could influence other Western nations in order to turn the screws on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its fund-raising activities abroad.

Donald Camp, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, told presspersons on Wednesday that the LTTE had been a banned organisation under U.S. law since 1997 and raising money in America for the Tigers was a criminal offence.

Mr. Camp’s remarks are significant since he was responding to a question on what the international community could do to influence the LTTE’s increasingly belligerent behaviour in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. official also supported a ban being imposed on the LTTE by the European Union, but said in response to queries that the decision, of course, was for the E.U. to take.

Asked if Washington supported India becoming the fifth co-chair in the Sri Lankan peace process, Mr. Camp pointed out that Japan had made an offer to New Delhi to join the co-chairs, but only New Delhi could take a view on the matter. "It’s a decision for India to make," he maintained.

On whether the recent elections in Tamil Nadu had figured in his discussions in Colombo, Mr. Camp said the people he had spoken to in Sri Lanka did not believe that these polls would have an impact on the politics of the island nation.

See online : The Hindu

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