Global bans on LTTE should remain even if removed in SL - Ranil

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday said that the government was not in favour of international bans on the LTTE being lifted, once the group was deproscribed in Sri Lanka.

"We are concerned that the international bans (on the LTTE) would also be lifted," he told Sirasa TVs ‘Janarawa’ programme last night. "We don’t want them to be lifted."

The prime minister’s statement confirmed suspicions that the government had been worried about the impact that removing a local ban would influence the international community to lift individual bans they had imposed on the organisation in their own countries.

Wickremesinghe said that the US and India had maintained that local deproscription would not have any effect on the bans in their countries. However, he will visit India, Britain and the European Union within the next three weeks to canvass their support. He is scheduled to meet EU President Romano Prodi, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and India Premier Atal Behari Vajpayee during his trip. The Prime Minister elaborated that President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other politicaed before deproscription.