Sri Lanka invites Tigers to talks after bloody weekend

June 19, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Monday invited Tamil Tiger rebels to negotiate peace and save their collapsing ceasefire as two more soldiers were killed in a weekend of violence that left over 50 people dead. Defence officials said security forces Monday found the bodies of two soldiers shot dead by Tamil Tiger guerrillas during an attack on Sunday night in the eastern region of Weli Oya.

Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas also shot and wounded a policeman in the north Sunday night while four rebels were arrested with grenades, the defence ministry said.

Government troops and Tiger rebels exchanged fire across a de facto frontline in the northern peninsula of Jaffna late Monday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The government’s latest invitation to the Tigers comes amid hectic behind-the-scenes moves by peace broker Norway to salvage the faltering peace process, diplomats close to the initiative said.

Norwegian envoys were due to travel to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi for discussions with the guerrilla leadership, diplomats said, as the Tamilnet.com website reported sighting warplanes over their territory Monday.

Military officials said the