LTTE offers ceasefire but refuses to lay down arms

Tamil Tigers said they were ready for a ceasefire but the Sri Lankan government immediately rejected the ceasefire offer by the Tigers.

Written by Agencies | Colombo | Published: February 23, 2009 2:01:29 pm

Tamil Tigers on Monday said they were ready for a ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government,but refused to lay down their arms.

With the LTTE cornered in a fast shrinking small landmass in the north easter coast of the country,the rebels appeal for a truce came in a letter to the United Nations and other foreign powers.

LTTE Political chief B Nadesan,in a letter to the United Nations,said that international calls for rebels to lay down their arms could not resolved the armed conflict as “weapons were the only protective shield of the Tamil people.”

“Arms are also our tool for political liberation,” Nadesan told the United Nations in the letter copies of which were also sent to the United States,European Union,UK and Japan and one time peace-broker on the island Norway.

“We are ready to discuss cooperate and work together in all their efforts to bring an immediate ceasefire and work towards a political settlement,” he said.

But the Sri Lankan government immediately rejected the ceasefire offer by the Tigers.

An official spokesman,Keheliya Rambukwella,told reporters it would accept nothing short of a unconditional ceasefire.

“Sri Lankan government has no intention to enter into the ceasefire with LTTE without their laying down arms,” he said.

The Tigers who are fighting for separate Tamil homeland are now boxed in a small strip of coastal jungles near Mullaitivu.

In six months of heavy fighting,the Tigers have nearly lost all of the north of Sri Lanka they held including one time political capital of Kilinochichi and the main military base at Mullaitivu.

The fighting has raised international concerns about the safety of hundreds of thousands Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone.

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