Thursday, July 24, 2008

FM urges Australia to ban LTTE

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday held bilateral discussions with his counterparts from Australia, Myanmar, Laos, South Korea, and the Philippines on the sidelines of the 15th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore.

During a meeting with his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith, Minister

Bogollagama expressed serious concern over the activities of the LTTE and its front organizations through its influence over certain misguided elements in the Sri Lankan diaspora in Australia.

Citing the ongoing criminal prosecution against three Australians of Sri Lankan origin, on charges relating to raising funds for terrorism as well as the recent arrest of another Australian in Melbourne, at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, as significant steps by Australia to support the global fight against terrorism, Minister Bogollagama urged the Australian government to proscribe the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, the Foreign

Ministry said.Such a measure would provide the legal framework for the authorities to take effective action against fund raising and propaganda activities by the LTTE and its fronts operating on Australian soil.

With the restoration of democracy to the Eastern Province and the conflict situation being confined to two districts in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka has once again emerged as a safe destination for foreign tourists. He emphasised the need to restore air links between the two countries.

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