External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L.Peiris will meet the diplomatic community next week to brief them on the recent proscription of LTTE fronts by the Government and seek their cooperation to apprehend LTTE operatives who have been issued interpol red notices.
Official sources said yesterday that Minister Peiris is scheduled to meet the members of the diplomatic corps on Thursday morning where he will brief them on current issues and seek their cooperation in making the proscription of LTTE fronts more effective with help from their governments. Sri Lanka renewed the LTTE ban and proscribed 15 diaspora organisations in various countries as LTTE fronts on April 1. Subsequently, interpol red notices were issued against 40 LTTE operatives for inciting terrorism, seeking help to find their whereabouts. “When an interpol red notice is issued there is a duty cast upon the international community to assist the country where the suspect is wanted,” External Affairs Ministry Publicity Division Director General A.M.Saddiq said.
LTTE leaders known by their nom de guerre Nediyawan and Vinayagam, who are believed to be in Norway and France are among those whom red notices have been issued.
When asked if Sri Lanka had extradition treaties with these two countries, Saddiq said, more than having a legal basis such as a treaty, it was important for these countries to have the political will when dealing with terrorist suspects.
“If there is a will there is a way,” he said.
He said Sri Lanka did not have an extraditon treaty with Iran, but the LTTE suspect, Nanthagopan, who was arrested in Iran recently, was deported to Malaysia before being extradited to Sri Lanka to be prosecuted on terrorism charges. Sri Lanka shares an extradition treaty with Malaysia.
Nanthagopan was on his way from Malaysia to UK and Iran was the transit point.
“If countries are unwilling to extradite a suspect, another option is to prosecute the suspects on their own soil with the evidence submitted by Sri Lanka.” Unfortunately when it comes to countries in the West, they are extremely reluctant to place equal importance to arrest LTTE suspects as against those linked to Al Qaeda, he said.
Courtesy : Sunday Observer