LTTE seeks access to "secret" records
[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Lawyers representing the Liberation Tigers have filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals, claiming the right to full access to "secretly compiled" US State department records, with a view to correcting "inaccuracies and distortions", according a news release released by Ramsey Clark Lawrence W. Schilling today.
The New York based lawyers' statement said that the "LTTE is claiming the right to full access to the record, the opportunity to show the legitimacy of its action under international law and to correct inaccuracies and distortions in the record which the State Department secretly compiled and is now refusing to disclose fully."
The motion, filed in the District of Columbia, "stresses that relief being requested is the minimum necessary to satisfy the principles of fairness and due process of the law that would otherwise be lacking." said the statement.
The lawyers had "provided documentary evidence [of] LTTE's struggle for independence and emergence as the de facto government of the Tamil people of SriLanka." they said.
The LTTE motion had cited the United States Declaration of Independence, which states "but when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is the right, it is their duty to throw off such Government and to provide new guards for their future security," and said that the "formation of the Tamil armed resistance movement was in response to the terror, violence and repression of the Sinhala-dominated Sri Lankan government."
The motion further stated that the "Secretary of State's failure to take the genocide and other wrongful conduct in violation of international law by the Sri Lankan government and security forces dominated by the Sinhalese people toward the Tamil people makes her designation of the LTTE as a "terrorist" organization arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion."
Last October, the US State department placed the LTTE on its list of organisations for which it is illegal to provide 'tangible support', including funding.
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