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Tigers blame Sri Lanka president for talks deadlock

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga of “deceit” as she gave the guerrillas two weeks to decide if they wanted to revive stalled peace negotiations. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they had received no response to a request sent to Kumaratunga asking for a clear statement on her coalition government’s stand on ending ethnic bloodshed. The LTTE accused Kumaratunga of projecting the image of a peace maker to the international community while appeasing her main Marxist coalition partner, the JVP or People’s Liberation Front, which opposes concessions to the Tigers. “This coalition that is showing different faces to suit the people, time and place has no intention of being involved in the peace process honestly,” the LTTE said in a statement posted on its website. It came a day after Kumaratunga asked the Tigers to return to the negotiating table they left in April last year, saying that the necessary environment for the resumption of talks had been created. “I request the LTTE to inform the government, within this month, if they are ready to commence peace talks,” Kumaratunga said via state media. “At present, the LTTE is finding various excuses not to come to peace talks.” She did not say what action her government would take if the Tigers failed to rejoin the Norwegian-led initiative aimed at ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed that has claimed over 60,000 lives. The LTTE said it had received no response to a request that Kumaratunga issue a statement “in a single voice” on her government’s policy regarding the ethnic conflict. “The LTTE has effectively requested the government stop cheating the international community and the country and put an end to their acts of deceit by publicly stating their policy,” the Tigers said.Full Story

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