Peace hopes dim as Sri Lanka rejects Tiger demand

Sri Lanka’s peace hopes have hit rock bottom after Colombo rejected rebel demands and pushed the embattled nation closer to a resumption of war, analysts said Thursday. Sri Lanka’s peace hopes have hit rock bottom after Colombo rejected rebel demands and pushed the embattled nation closer to a resumption of war, analysts said Thursday. The government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga rejected Tamil Tiger demands for the resumption of peace talks and accused the guerrillas of undermining the Norwegian-backed peace effort with “threatening language.”

Retired airforce chief Harry Gunatillake said Colombo’s latest stand could jeopardise the Oslo-brokered truce that has been in place since February 2002 and take the country back to hostilities.

“Peace prospects are getting dimmer and dimmer,” Gunatillake said. “The LTTE’s next step might be to say they are pulling out of the peace process and gradually they will start to destroy the economy.”

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran said in his annual policy statement Saturday that Colombo should end the deadlock in peace talks by agreeing to negotiate on his proposal for an Int