EU sanctions against LTTE struck down

European Union (EU) judges struck down anti-terrorism sanctions against the Tamil Tigers that were imposed by the EU but said on Thursday that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.

Based on ‘imputations’

The court said a decision by EU leaders in 2006 to place the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (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 against 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”.

Tightening of security

Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement the government was ready to provide information to justify designating the LTTE as a terrorist organisation.

Sri Lanka has tightened security in the former war zone in the north of the country after its military in April killed three ethnic Tamil separatists who the army said had attempted to revive the terrorist outfit.

Higher military officials have told Reuters that funds from some EU member countries have been sent to those who are trying to instigate renewed violence in the heavily militarised north.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 5:39:46 AM |

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