Colombo rejects cease-fire, Tamil coalition disappointed

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 January 2001, 18:57 GMT]
"If the government is only interested in pursuing the war against all the Tamil people and in imposing a military solution on them, then let it say so openly. That the Liberation Tigers have extended their cease-fire for another month is a political challenge for the Sri Lankan government. In this circumstance we cannot continue to believe that we can get a political solution from the Sri Lankan government" said Mr. N. Sri Kantha, a senior spokes person for the coalition of eleven Tamil parties in Colombo, Friday, reacting to Colombo categorically rejecting the cease-fire by the Liberation Tigers, which they extended for another month this week.

Colombo officially responded to the LTTE's cease-fire extension Friday categorically rejecting the extension of the month long cease-fire unilaterally declared by the Liberation Tigers as a "goodwill measure" on 24 December 2000.

The Sri Lankan government rejected the first cease-fire offer too and launched a massive military operation against the positions of the LTTE in Jaffna.

A statement by the government's Special Media Information Centre (SMIC) said that the Liberation Tigers declared the cease-fire because they are militarily weak and that its extension is a sure sign of their flagging fortunes. It urged the international community to be wary of the LTTE.

"We have to question the government's sincerity in finding a political solution to end the conflict when it insists that the Liberation Tigers have declared the cease-fire because they are militarily weak. The government's position that the possibility of a cease-fire could be examined only during negotiations is a major hindrance to starting peace talks", Mr. Sri Kantha said.

The eleven party Tamil coalition, including the Tamil United Liberation Front, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, has been lobbying foreign missions in Colombo, urging them to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government to start peace talks and reciprocate the LTTE's cease-fire.

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