Colombo categorically rejects Tiger cease-fire
[TamilNet, Friday, 05 January 2001, 15:29 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government will not in anyway respond to the cease-fire unilaterally declared by the Liberation Tigers last month said Sri Lanka's Minister for Media, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, addressing a press conference in Colombo Friday to announce this week's cabinet decisions.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar had clearly stated the position of People's Alliance government regarding a cease-fire and the conditions in which it may consider one, according to Mr.Yapa.
The Sri Lankan government has stated that it would weigh the possibility of a cease-fire only if peace talks with the Liberation Tigers were to make substantial progress. The Tigers on the other hand say that there should be some manner of conflict de-escalation in the form of easing restrictions on civilian life in the Vanni to create a conducive climate of mutual trust for starting talks.
Mr.Yapa claimed that the Liberation Tigers had not apprised his government through a third party mediator such as Norway but had announced the cease-fire on their own through the media.
The Minister said that the Sri Lankan government had come to know about the cease-fire unilaterally declared by the Liberation Tigers from a report in the TamilNet.
This is the first press conference by the PA to announce cabinet decisions since the People's Alliance elected to power in elections to Parliament in October 2000.