Tamil Tigers reiterate their readiness for truce with Sri LankaNovember 9th, 2008 - 1:57 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, Nov 9 (IANS) The Tamil Tiger rebels, facing a fierce military thrust in the borders of their ‘administrative capital’ of Kilinochchi in the north, have reiterated their consent for a cessation of hostilities with the Sri Lankan government, a pro-rebel website reported Sunday.According the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website, political wing head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) B. Nadesan made these remarks Saturday, following reports of Tamil Nadu leaders seeking clarification on LTTE’s stand on ceasefire.
“There is no hesitation on our side to reiterate our position that we have always wanted a ceasefire. It is the government of Sri Lanka that unilaterally abrogated the ceasefire,” Nadesan has been quoted as saying.
Nadesan has told TamilNet that they “were only fighting a defensive war since Colombo has thrust upon Tamils an aggressive war”, stressing that the rebel outfit has “always reiterated that they have been committed to the ceasefire”.
Getting impatient with the LTTE, the Rajapaksa government in January unilaterally abrogated the Norwegian-brokered six-year long truce with the LTTE and said that defeating the LTTE militarily was a prerequisite for any political solution to the island’s prolonged ethnic conflict.
A prompt reply from the LTTE hierarchy has come within a day after the state secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) D. Pandian issued a public statement urging those who were fighting for the democratic rights of the Eelam Tamils, especially the political leadership of the Liberation Tigers, to come forward to announce their stand in a clarifying manner.
“Those who are fighting for the democratic rights of Sri Lankan Tamils, especially the LTTE, should declare that they are ready for a peaceful settlement through negotiations,” Pandian has said in India Saturday, referring to the contention of the central government and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that not only the Sri Lankan government but also the LTTE should adhere to a ceasefire.
The LTTE has been fighting against the Sri Lankan government to carve out a separate state for Tamils in the northern and eastern parts of the island for a quarter century.
Sri Lankan troops backed by artillery, aerial bombardment has advanced deep into the rebel-held areas in many front amid fierce LTTE resistance. Vowing to capture the rebel-stronghold of Kilinochchi, the military brass claimed last week that troops were operating just a few kilometers away from Kilinochchi town, lying 350 km from Colombo.
Defence experts say that the recapture of Kilinochchi by the government troops well after a decade would deal a major blow to the LTTE militarily and psychologically.
Thousands have died and several hundreds of thousands have faced displacement in escalating fighting since late 2005.