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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:52, September 15, 2006
Sri Lankan gov't calls for sincere rebel commitment for peace
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The Sri Lankan government said Thursday that it has called for a sincere commitment from the Tamil Tiger rebels to proceed with the Norwegian backed process to end the armed separatist conflict.

Nimal Siripala De Silva, the minister of Health and the government's peace negotiator told reporters "we want a sincere commitment to the process from the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) leader Prabakaran."

The minister was commenting after his meeting with the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo, Hans Brattskar to discuss the future of the troubled peace process.

"I asked the Norwegians to get a clear statement from the LTTE, "De Silva said.

He added that the government had expressed its regret over a statement on Tuesday by the Norwegian Minister for International Development Erik Solheim that the government had agreed to hold talks with the LTTE early October.

De Silva said the government's concurrence had not been sought by Solheim to indicate dates for the talks.

Solheim who himself was the Norwegian special peace envoy told reporters on Tuesday that the two sides had agreed to start talks unconditionally. The government denied such agreement subsequently.

Analysts say the government was unlikely to agree to any talks with the LTTE without laying down any preconditions.

The government has recorded a series of military victories over the rebels since the end of July and enjoys upper hand at present.

The government maintains that the rebels could use another cessation of hostilities to regroup and re-arm and therefore wants the international community to prevail upon the Tigers to renounce violence.

The fighting since the end of July has killed around 1000 people including military personnel, LTTE fighters and civilians.

Over 200,000 people have been displaced triggering a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern and eastern battle zones.

Source: Xinhua


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