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Home >> World
UPDATED: 17:37, February 23, 2006
Sri Lankan gov't says talks with Tiger rebels fruitful
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The Sri Lankan government expressed its satisfaction on the first day's proceeding's of the two-day talks held in Geneva with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Speaking of the talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels, Anura Yapa, the media and information minister and the government spokesman, told reporters here Thursday that "so far things have been fruitful and constructive."

The government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) broke a three-year deadlock in trying to meet face to face by meeting in Geneva on Wednesday.

The talks were aimed at strengthening the February 22, 2002 ceasefire brokered by the Norwegian peace facilitators.

The LTTE want the full implementation of the government's obligations in the accord while the government wants the LTTE to give up violence and assassination.

The government listed the ceasefire violations numbering over 5000 which the LTTE called a "gross exaggeration."

Yapa said, "Today's (Thursday's) talks will decide which way it will go."

He said the handshake which happened at the commencement of the talks between the two chief negotiators, Nimal Siripala De Silva and Anton Balasingham of the LTTE was "a good sign."

The talks have diffused an extremely volatile security situation which prevailed in the North and East provinces during December and January.

An upsurge of violence killed over 200 people including nearly 100 soldiers in a series of attacks blamed on the Tigers.

The government hopes that Geneva talks might open doors for the parties to return to the negotiating table with a view to arriving at a lasting solution to the drawn out separatist conflict that had claimed over 64,000 lives since the mid 1980s.

Source: Xinhua

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