Sri Lanka, rebels ready for war: analysts

Nov 28, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka appears set to slide back into full-scale war with both the Tamil Tigers and the government washing their hands of a tattered truce, analysts and diplomats say. In an annual policy speech broadcast Tuesday from the rebel-held north of the island, Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran said trying to make peace with his ethnic rivals from the south was a waste of time.

In the capital Colombo, the government has also abandoned any semblance of commitment to a moribund 2002 ceasefire agreement, vowing to hunt down and kill the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and retake the north.

“It’s depressing,” said one Colombo-based diplomat close to the Norwegian-brokered peace process.

“Clearly what has prevailed is that neither side views their opponent as a partner for peace,” he said.

“Both sides view the peace process as finished, and both sides are blaming each other and the international community for its collapse.”

The diplomat, who asked not to be named, said the opponents would “try to wear each other down” in the coming months, as they have done during 35 years of brutal war that has already cost an estimated 60,00