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The BBC's Daniel Lak
"The Tamil Tigers... would continue to support Norway's efforts to arrange peace talks"
 real 28k

Monday, 23 April, 2001, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Tamil Tigers to end truce
Tiger force
The Tigers say they can no longer sustain the truce
The Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka say have decided not to renew their unilateral ceasefire which expires at midnight on Tuesday.

We are compelled to make this painful decision as a consequence of the hard-line, intransigent attitude of the Sri Lankan Government

Tamil Tiger statement
In a statement, the Tigers said they had taken the decision because the Sri Lankan Government had intensified land, sea and air attacks causing heavy casualties.

"It has become impossible to contain the military assaults of the enemy... without resorting to counter-offensive operations," the statement said.

The Tigers have been observing a unilateral truce since 24 December, which they have extended every month.

'Committed to peace'

The Tigers also blamed foreign governments for not doing enough to persuade the Sri Lankan Government to respond to the ceasefire.

Tamil Tiger logo
Tiger statement said they would support peace efforts
"Instead of... promoting our peace offensive, some international governments have imposed proscriptions and other restrictions against us whereas the other party in conflict is being provided with financial assistance, military aid and training facilities."

The Tigers are among a number of groups banned under new UK legislation introduced earlier this year.

Despite their announcement, the Tigers said they remained committed to peace, and would continue to support Norwegian efforts to bring about talks between the two sides.

The rebels have been demanding the lifting of a ban on their organisation and a longer truce before peace talks can begin.

Ceasefire 'stunt'

The Sri Lankan Government has rejected the Tiger ceasefire as a stunt, saying the rebels were seeking a breathing space in order to regroup.

The government announced a short ceasefire for the Sri Lankan New Year - but this was not renewed.

More than 63,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the 17-year conflict since the rebels began their battle for an independent homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

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See also:

20 Apr 01 | South Asia
Tigers suffer sea 'defeat'
16 Apr 01 | South Asia
Sea battle sinks Sri Lanka truce
16 Apr 01 | South Asia
Sri Lanka gets fresh weapons
13 Apr 01 | South Asia
Sri Lankan army begins truce
28 Feb 01 | UK Politics
Tamil Tigers on banned list
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