The Government today attempted to justify the travel restrictions imposed on foreigners visiting the north by raising concerns over the impact the recent EU court ruling on the LTTE will have on Sri Lanka.
Government Minister and UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayanth said that if the LTTE ban is lifted in the EU as a result of the EU court ruling it could allow LTTE elements to fund another war in the north.
The Government had recently announced that foreigners visiting the north will need to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Defence.
Premajayanth said that the Government has a responsibility to prevent another war from taking place and so such security measures have to be taken.
He said that the External Affairs Ministry is dealing with the EU on the court order which lifts sanctions imposed on the rebels in the EU.
The Minister also said that the pro-LTTE diaspora is very much active in the EU and they had pushed for the ban on the LTTE to be lifted.
He recalled that the EU ban on the rebels took effect in 2006 as a result of the efforts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government.
Apart from the EU, several other countries including Canada, the US and India had also banned the LTTE and froze LTTE funds in those countries.
Premajayanth said that the freeze on LTTE funds helped eventually defeat the LTTE in May 2009. He also accused the UNP of having links with the pro-LTTE diaspora which eventually led to the EU court order against the sanctions on the LTTE in the EU.
Original caption: Travel restrictions to the north justified