Mangala Says Government Henchmen Benefit From EU Lifting Ban On LTTE

UNP Leadership Council member and former SLFP stalwart Mangala Samaraweera has accused that the lifting of the EU ban on LTTE benefits those in the government.

He made these comments at a press briefing to discuss the issue in Colombo.

Samaraweera argued that after the death of LTTE Supremo Velupillay Prabhakaran, the only legitimate claim to its funds can be put forward by his successor Kumaran Pathmanathan, or KP. However, KP is now “sitting on the lap of the Rajapaksa regime” Samaraweera argued.

He also argues that after the LTTE was banned in USA and UK due to the campaign led by former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgarmar, its fundraising campaign was shifted to Europe. Samaraweera argues that it was the situation prevailing when he became the Foreign Minister. He said he was able to obtain the support of 18 of the then 25 members of EU and with the support of the US he was able to obtain the support of the rest of the countries to ban the LTTE in the European bloc countries on May 29, 2006.

He also pointed out that all bank accounts, funds and assets of the LTTE were frozen along with the ban.

Samaraweera asks if the Sri Lankan Ambassador to EU was silent on the decision because of a “conspiracy.”

He added that the UNP refuses all allegations that it is behind the lifting of the ban.

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