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‘De-listing LTTE will create a precedent with other terror groups like Al-Qaeda also following suit’



Academic cautions British govt.:

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

A British academic suggested that the people living in the United Kingdom should use the political route to express their concerns to their local MPs on the potential dangers of de-proscribing the LTTE.

The possible lifting of the ban on the terror movement could be viewed as a softening of the British government’s stand towards extremist groups, says Dr. Prakash Shah, Reader in Culture and Law, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

“Some Indian communities might also react negatively to the de-proscription as the LTTE operated extensively in Tamil Nadu”, he said.

Shah was responding to a question by State Minister Sarath Weerasekera on how the people could exert pressure on the British Parliament to ensure the LTTE is not de-listed, at a webinar in London last week to discuss the consequences for the Indian subcontinent and its geopolitical stability if the ban was lifted.

The event was organized by the Ontario Centre for Policy Research in Canada in collaboration with partners in the UK and India, following the open judgment by the Proscribed Organizations Appeals Commission (POAC) of the United Kingdom to allow the Appeal made by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) front organization challenging the decision of the UK Secretary of State for Home Affairs.

The application by the group to de-proscribe the LTTE from the list of Proscribed Organizations under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000, was refused on March 8, 2019.

The people should appraise their local MPs of the current situation and express their concern over the move, he noted, while recounting the LTTE was banned by the British government after consulting the Sri Lanka High Commission, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, Community Impact Assessment and the Proscription Review Group.

The possible outcome of the appeal could be the de-proscription of the LTTE by Her Majesty’s Government (HMG). If HMG receives a de-listing order from the POAC, it would trigger an order to be laid before Parliament, Shah further said.

HMG could appeal against the POAC decision and undertake to go back and make its decision again more soundly, bearing in mind shortcoming identified by the Commission, the academic continued.

Although the LTTE was defeated by Sri Lanka Army on May 18, 2009, their international network was still active. They have not publicly stated that they will denounce violence. They have no remorse for the atrocities they committed, said Dr. Neville Hewage, Adjunct Professor, International Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Law, Laurentian University, Canada.

He said the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), described as a ‘government in exile’, is a proxy organization of the LTTE. Its leader Rudrakumaran was reprimanded by a US Court for defrauding his clients.

If the British government de-proscribes the LTTE, it will create a precedent, with other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda also following suit.

Manish Uprety, Ex-Diplomat, Alumnus of the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India, said the LTTE failed in Tamil Nadu but succeeded in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a very important strategic location. The US and Indian governments do not want Sri Lanka to be destabilized fearing the country will move towards China and Pakistan, he remarked.

“Britain cannot allow this to happen by destabilizing Sri Lanka”, he opined.

The moderator of the webinar was former Deputy Director of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst Colonel Dr. Myszka Guzkowska.

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President requests the opposition to support the implementation of the IMF agreement




President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the Opposition to unite and disregard political differences to assist in carrying out the IMF agreement, which would aid in the development of Sri Lanka’s economy.

The President emphasized that his duty is not to condemn previous administrations but to concentrate on the development of the country. He also declared his dedication to constructing a better future by creating laws and frameworks that prevent the recurrence of past errors.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered this message in a special address to Parliament this morning (22) regarding the receipt of the Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund.

He stated that despite allegations being leveled against him that his objective was not to rescue the country from an economic crisis but to safeguard the Rajapaksa family, the international community had acknowledged his efforts to carry the country across the economic vine bridge.

The President further said that he had faith in rebuilding the beloved country where he was born, brought up and educated, and said that many past experiences were the reasons for confirming that faith.

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SJB, JVP move SC against Finance Secy. for contempt of court



The main Opposition, Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB), and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday (21) moved Supreme Court against Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana over his failure to provide funds required by the Election Commission to conduct the Local Government polls, ignoring an interim order issued by the apex court, on 03 March.

Ranjith Madduma Bandara, MP, is the petitioner for the SJB and Vijitha Herath, MP, moved court on behalf of the JVP, the leading party in the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB).

Two Opposition parties declared action against Siriwardana the day after the Freedom People’s Alliance (FPA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Finance Secretary to release the funds.

EC Chairman Nimal Punchihewa is on record as having said that in spite of SC directive he didn’t receive fresh funding.

The petitioners sought the issuance of summons on Siriwardana for contempt of court over failure to carry out its interim orders, given on 03 March.

The petitioners want the Finance Secretary punished in terms of Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.

The SJB stated that Siriwardana had refrained from carrying out the March directives, on the basis of a Cabinet decision, taken on 13 Feb., 2023. The SJB also pointed out that the offensive conduct of the Treasury Secretary, inter alia, causes grave prejudice to the esteemed authority of the Supreme Court and in turn disturb the public confidence in the authority of the highest Court in the country. (SF)

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Minister indicates reduction in fuel prices in April



Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara told Parliament yesterday that fuel prices would be reduced considerably according to the fuel price formula at the next fuel price revision, due in April.

The Minister said that the government would be able to procure fuel shipments, at lower prices, during competitive bidding, with the receipt of the IMF bailout.

There had been practical issues, and problems, in opening Letters of Credit, and obtaining credit facilities, in the recent past, as Sri Lanka could not give a guarantee to fuel suppliers, Minister Wijesekara said.

“We could not open LCs and obtain credit facilities when procuring fuel. After the IMF bailout, we will be able to procure fuel at lower prices during competitive biddings. We will be able to obtain a long-term credit facility as well. Fuel prices in the global market seem to have declined and the rupee has also gained strength against the US Dollar. Having considered all these factors, fuel prices will be reduced by a considerable margin which could be felt by the people,” he said.

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