Sri Lanka rebels cut short tour after Swiss talks fail

GENEVA, Oct 30, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s rebel Tamil Tiger negotiators have cut short a planned visit to truce monitors Norway and Iceland, and will return home immediately after Swiss peace talks failed, the top guerrilla leader said Monday. Chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), S. P. Thamilselvan, told AFP they scrapped the visit to the two countries providing staff for Sri Lanka’s truce monitoring mission because Sunday’s talks here collapsed.

“Our people are anxious to know first hand from us what happened in Geneva,” Thamilselvan said at his hotel here.

“Whether there will be war or peace in Sri Lanka now is in the hands of the Sri Lankan government.”

Representatives for the rebels and the Sri Lankan government failed Sunday to agree on a new meeting or on how to deal with crucial “humanitarian issues” after two days of peace talks in Geneva.

The LTTE’s 13-member delegation wanted to discuss the strengthening of the Norwegian-led Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM), but failure to agree on any of the key issues during weekend talks here made them cancel the trip to the Nordic nations, he said.

Asked if the guerrillas would resume their armed campaign for an independent homeland, the Tiger p