Tigers reject Sri Lanka's plan to end Peace deadlock

Tamil Tiger rebels have rejected Sri Lanka’s latest proposals to revive stalled peace talks and played down prospects of resuming negotiations next month. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) say they would open talks only on the basis of a self-rule plan unveiled by them in October last year seeking an “Interim Self-Governing Authority” (ISGA) in embattled areas. LTTE’s political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan, who is currently visiting Europe, told the BBC Tamil language service that they were shocked by reports of government proposals announced here Thursday. A state-run newspaper here Sunday said the stalled peace talks would resume early next month, ending an 18-month deadlock in the Norwegian-backed process.Despite the stalemate in the peace talks, both sides have maintained the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire that has been in place since February 2002.However, the government has accused the Tigers of systematically eliminating political opponents.President Kumaratunga earlier this month invited the rebels to discuss setting up a federal state in exchange for peace.Her government’s main coalition partner, the Marxist JVP, opposes any territorial concessions to the Tigers and opposition parties have demanded a united front to push ahead with the peace process.Full Story

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