Sri Lanka rebels agree on talks in Switzerland

Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels said Tuesday they were ready to resume peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan government but would reconsider if security forces kept up attacks against them. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) told peace broker Norway that they agreed to two days of talks starting October 28 at a venue in Switzerland.

“We are ready for talks, and agreed to the venue and date,” the LTTE’s political wing chief S. P. Thamilselvan said in a statement posted on their official website.

“However, if the military aggression continues, we will be forced to reconsider the decision,” he later told the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website.

Both sides agreed last month to resume their talks and end an eight-month deadlock in negotiations, but failed to agree on a venue with Sri Lanka proposing Switzerland and the Tigers saying it should be in Norway.

Even as peace moves were underway, the government and Tamil Tigers have kept up attacks against each other in the island’s embattled north and the east.

Norway is working to save a tattered 2002 truce and end a spiral of violence which has claimed more than 1,500 lives since December. Some 60,000 people have been