Sri Lanka calls for review of truce pact
May 7, 2007 - 6:19:37 PM
Colombo, May 7 - The Sri Lankan government said Monday its truce agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels signed in February 2002 needs to be reviewed in the light of over 10,000 violations since its implementation.
Keheliya Rambukwella, the minister of foreign employment and the defence spokesman, told reporters that it was up to the Norwegian peace facilitators to talk to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam -.
Rambukwella said the rebels had violated the truce more times than the government had done and the government remains committed to it despite its fragile nature.
'We are committed to the ceasefire agreement. But it is time now to have a re-look given the number of violations,' Rambukwella said.
The minister said that the government reserves the right to attack the rebels in order to safeguard national security interests even if the attacks mean violations of the truce agreement.
He said the air surveillance would be doubled in the face of the new threat coming from the rebels in the form of their air capability.
The LTTE using its light aircraft has carried out at least two raids on the capital Colombo since the end of March, forcing the Colombo international airport to restrict its operations to daytime only.
The government has tried in vain to destroy the LTTE air capability.
Government troops and LTTE rebels are currently being locked in fierce battles in the island country's north and east.
More than 4,000 soldiers, LTTE rebels and civilians have been killed since December 2005 with the escalation of violence.
The LTTE has been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east since the 1970s.
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