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Colombo, March 30 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government on Sunday said that it had managed to convince the European Union (EU) to maintain a ban on the Tamil Tiger rebels despite an earlier EU court decision to lift some sanctions on the group.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that efforts of the new government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had ensured the rebels remain on the latest list of banned groups issued by the EU.
Perera said that Wickremesinghe had communicated to the EU on the need to ensure the rebels were banned despite the defeat of the Tamil Tigers militarily in Sri Lanka nearly six years ago, according to Xinhua.
Wickremesinghe had written to the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini last November urging the EU to file an appeal against the EU court order on the Tamil Tigers.
The judgment of the General Court of the European Union last year had annulled measures taken by the Council of the European Union against the Tamil Tigers, namely its designation as a terrorist organisation and the freezing of their funds.
The Council however later decided to appeal the judgment.
Sri Lanka defeated the rebels in May 2009 after 30 years of war but support groups of the rebels are said to be still operating in the EU and in other countries.