Sri Lanka rebels seek Japan’s help to prevent ‘doom’

COLOMBO, May 9, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday sought foreign help to halt alleged military attacks against them and warned that the island could face “doom” if they decided to retaliate. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) appealed to Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi to persuade the Sri Lankan government to halt the spiralling violence.

The government has similarly called on the LTTE to halt violence that threatens a ceasefire in place since 2002.

The LTTE’s political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan said in a statement that the international community could bring an end to “this warlike attack by the Sri Lanka armed forces and create a more conducive environment for peace talks.”

“Thamilselvan added that he had informed the Japanese envoy that the Tamil people by these attacks and repression of their normal life will be forced to take a decision that will bring doom to Sri Lanka,” the LTTE statement said.

The statement issued after closed-door talks with Akashi in rebel-held northern territory said the international community must understand the background to the ongoing fighting, which the LTTE blames on government support for a breakaway rebel faction.

Even a