Sri Lanka army rejects Tiger truce call

February 23, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers appealed Monday for international action to halt a major offensive against their shrinking fiefdom, but the island’s military rejected any talk of a truce. With rebel forces cornered in the northeast of the island by a massive attack by government forces, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) urged foreign powers to step in and arrange an immediate truce.

The LTTE said the United Nations, United States, the European Union, Japan and one-time peace broker Norway had to pressure the Sri Lankan government into accepting a ceasefire “so the miseries of the Tamils… are brought to an end.”

“We also wish to inform the international community that we are ready to discuss, cooperate, and work together in all their efforts to bring an immediate ceasefire and work towards a political settlement,” the LTTE’s political chief B. Nadesan said.

But the Sri Lankan military said it would accept nothing short than the rebels’ waving a white flag.

“Our position is that they must lay down arms and surrender,” said military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara.

“There is no shift in our position.”

The Colombo government withdrew