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Bid to remove LTTE from EUís terrorist list:

SLís Brussels Mission monitoring developments

The Sri Lankan Mission in Brussels is closely monitoring developments in the EU Court of Justice where there is a fresh bid to remove the LTTE from the EUís list of designated terrorist organisations.

ďThe Foreign Ministry is aware of the developments and has briefed the mission in Brussels to closely watch developments,Ē a top Foreign Ministry official told the Sunday Observer.

If the Court rules in favour of the LTTE, it will trigger a series of negative repercussions including the unfreezing of its assets within the Union and lifting a travel ban on members of the organisation.

Last Thursday, UK Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Communities Eleanor Sharpston QC, whose advise is usually respected by judges, opined that the Court should reject an appeal by the EU member states in 2015 to retain LTTE among its terror list.

The LTTE was placed on the EUís banned organisations list in 2006, months after the assassination of Sri Lankaís reputed foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by an LTTE sniper in August 2005.

In 2014, the EU Court ruled the LTTE be removed from the terror list citing procedural errors. The court said the EU Council had relied on media reports rather than its own investigations to seek a continuation of the proscription.

This decision was given in a case initiated by LTTE front organsations in 2011. But in 2015, the EU member states including the UK and Netherlands appealed against the decision and won a ruling to retain the ban on the LTTE. In 2014, the Sri Lankan government said it would provide the evidence, which the court found lacking, to support sanctions against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Asked if the Foreign Ministry submitted this evidence to the EU Court, the senior official said he was not aware of that, but a legal counsel was looking after the interests of Sri Lanka in the EU.

The UK Advocate General Sharpston had also requested the Middle-East terror group Hamas too be removed from the EUís terror list on similar grounds.

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