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Lanka Tigers give ultimatum

The Sri Lankan peace deal with the Tamil Tigers may come apart if the government does not give in to the rebels’ demand for political power and withdraw its troop

Last Modified: 04 Sep 2003 11:53 GMT
Tigers want Lankan government to meet basic demands

The Sri Lankan peace deal with the Tamil Tigers may come apart if the government does not give in to the rebels’ demand for political power and withdraw its troops from the northeast.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Thursday said it would submit counter proposals to the Colombo government before end of September on a proposed interim administration for the island's war-torn regions.

  

In a report posted on its "peace secretariat" website, the LTTE said that a rebel-led administration may not be able to function as long as government forces were deployed in the region.

  

It said the LTTE experts' meeting in Paris last month studied the government's 17 July proposal for the establishment of an interim administration giving the Tigers a lion's share of power ahead of a final settlement.

 

Proposal

  

"They will submit their findings and decisions as the proposals for an interim government. It is hoped that the government will accept this proposal. The future of the ceasefire agreement and its survival will depend on the government's reply," it said.

  

The LTTE said the ceasefire agreement that went into effect from 23 February last year was also aimed at removing the Sri Lankan armed forces and their bases in the Tamil-dominated northeast.

  

The Tigers accused government forces of failing to vacate private homes in the embattled area and thereby preventing Tamil refugees from returning to their original homes.

 

"It is hoped that the government will accept this proposal. The future of the ceasefire agreement and its survival will depend on the government's reply"

Tiger website

"In this present condition and (amid) the armed forces' racially motivated behaviour, it would be impossible for the LTTE to accept the interim administration and carry out its business within it.

  

"The Tamil people want and they are entitled to lead a decent life, in their own homes as they please. This is a birth right and should be accorded to them," it said.

  

"The LTTE will endeavour and seek their rights for them and only agree to the interim administration if they can provide these facilities without any interference by outside forces," said the report from the LTTE's official organ, The Viduthalaippulikal, or Liberation Tiger.

  

Meanwhile, Japan, the island's largest aid donor, will soon try to bring the sides together with the visit of special envoy Yasushi Akashi, beginning on 11 September.

   

Cabinet spokesman GL Peiris told a news conference in Colombo that Akashi would also travel to the rebels' base in Kilinochchi and meet Muslim representatives in the east of the island, where tension with Tamils flared last month. 

 

The Tigers suspended peace talks in April after accusing the government of going back on promises made to them during six rounds of negotiations since September last year. 

Source:
Agencies
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