Sri Lanka to observe New Year ceasefire
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 April 2001, 18:29 GMT]
The Sri Lankan armed forces will cease offensive operations for three days commencing at midnight April 13, to the traditional Tamil and Sinhala New Year, government sources said. The move was not a reciprocation of the Liberation Tigers unilateral ceasefire, now in its fourth month, the sources said.
The government's ceasefire was over the New Year season was not in any way linked to the ongoing Norwegian efforts to bring about negotiations between Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers, the sources said.
The Liberation Tigers Saturday reiterated in a meeting with Jon Westborg, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, that a ceasefire and the lifting of Sri Lanka's proscription of the LTTE were essential prerequisites for negotiations to be held. The LTTE is observing a unilateral ceasefire, initially announced for one month on Christmas Eve last year and extended three times for another month.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) jets Tuesday carried out air raids in the Nagathevanthurai area on the north-western coast, military sources said Tuesday.
The Sri Lanka Army said Tuesday it had mounted a search operation south west of Kilali on the Jaffna peninsula, recovering several land mines. The SLA said one Liberation Tiger was shot dead by a sniper while six soldiers were wounded by a mortar bomb elsewhere on the peninsula.