Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told parliament on Wednesday, that the government will review the ban on Tamil individuals and organizations listed as “terrorist” by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa government in 2012 under UN Security Council Resolution 1373.
“Most of the organizations listed may have merely been vocal proponents of Tamil rights. There was hardly any tangible evidence to link them to the LTTE. Some of the individuals listed had even been dead for some time,” Samaraweera said.
The Rajapaksa government had banned 16 entities and 424 Tamils on March 21, 2014 in the run up to the Presidential election “to build up hysteria about LTTE grouping,” the Minister said.
“Reviewing this list of individuals and entities is an important exercise at this juncture when the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena is seriously committed to expediting the reconciliation process,” he asserted. .
“In doing so, the Sri Lankan Diaspora, whether it be Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, has an extremely important role to play not only in taking the reconciliation process forward, but they have an important role to play in taking Sri Lanka forward. Some of the best world class doctors, scientists, lawyers and other professionals, who our nation can be proud of as Sri Lankans, make up this Diaspora, and we must enable them to take part in our journey to make Sri Lanka a truly multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual democracy,” Samaraweera said.
The Minister also sought parliament’s approval for amendments to Lankan law to ensure that Lanka’s legal framework to tackle money laundering and financing of terrorism is in harmony with internationally accepted standards.