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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:33, February 24, 2006
Sri Lankan government, rebels promise to end violence
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The Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels ended their two-day talks on Thursday and promised to end all violent acts against each other.

"The government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no intimidation, acts of violence, abductions or killings," said a statement issued after the talks, held in an ancient chateau near Geneva.

Read by Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim, the statement also said that the two parties were committed to respecting and upholding a Norway-brokered ceasefire agreement, which had been violated many times.

According to Solheim, Norway's minister for international development, the two parties held very hard, tough but realistic talks.

They had serious discussions on strengthening the four year-old ceasefire and confidence had been built between them after the talks, Solheim said.

The two sides also agreed to continue their talks and the next session of talks will be held on April 19 to 21 in Switzerland.

"Now the two sides will go back to Sri Lanka and implement what they have agreed during the talks," said Solheim, adding that a monitoring mission will report on implementation of the above- mentioned agreements at the next session of talks.

The Switzerland-hosted talks were the first face-to-face meeting between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers since April 2003 and after an upsurge of violence in the war battered north and east regions of Sri Lanka.

The ethnic bloodshed in Sri Lanka has lasted three decades and some 60,000 people have died in the Tigers battle for independence for the Tamil minority.

Source: Xinhua

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