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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > October
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 2, 2003


Sri Lanka: Status of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

Although the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are engaged in a peace process with the government of Sri Lanka - a process that the United States fully supports - the United States has determined that the LTTE continues to engage in terrorist activities. The United States, therefore, today re-designated the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.

In a meeting held Monday, September 29, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told visiting Sri Lankan Minister Milinda Moragoda that the United States can revoke this designation at any time provided we are satisfied the organization no longer meets the statutory criteria for designation as an FTO. The Deputy Secretary told Minister Moragoda that the United States will consider revoking the LTTE designation as an FTO and will be prepared to deal with the group as a legitimate political entity in Sri Lanka only after the organization renounces terrorism and ceases terrorist acts.

The United States looks forward to a timely resumption of peace talks in Sri Lanka and hopes that proposals by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for an interim administration in the North and East of the country will be reasonable and practical enough to form the basis for resuming talks.


Released on October 2, 2003

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