Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers set different agendas for peace talks

Oct 25, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger negotiators have set different agendas for weekend peace talks in Switzerland following months of bloodshed. The Colombo government said Wednesday it wanted the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to commit to a schedule and to discuss the “core” issues in the island’s separatist armed conflict.

However the rebels said they were more concerned with humanitarian issues and the implementation of the ceasefire.

Norway and other international donors persuaded the warring parties to return to the negotiating table this coming weekend by avoiding details of what will be discussed.

“We are looking at setting up a time-frame in addressing the issues concerning the Tamil people,” Policy Planning Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, the government’s defence spokesman, told a press conference.

“The government will be addressing the core issues with a new approach so that the Tamils could play a vibrant participatory role”, Rambukwella said.

He said the government was hoping to take up seven issues with the LTTE: democracy, a multi-party system, ethnic pluralism, human rights, child recruitment, infrastru