Sri Lanka Tigers seek to postpone Swiss talks

Apr.13 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday called for a postponement of ceasefire talks scheduled for next week in Switzerland amid an upsurge in violence that has killed 38 people this week. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said the three-day talks due to start next Wednesday cannot go ahead and they want a fresh date.

“We requested Norway to postpone to talks until after the 22nd (of April),” LTTE spokesman Daya Master told AFP. “We need some time to discuss the ground situation with our commanders in the east.”

He said the LTTE’s political wing leader, S.P. Thamilselvan, conveyed the decision in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi during talks Thursday with Ulf Henricsson, the chief of a Scandinavian commission monitoring a truce in place since 2002.

Henricsson had told the rebels that the commission would arrange a boat for Tamil Tiger field commanders in the east to travel to the north on Saturday as the guerrilla leadership had requested.

The guerrilla leaders in the north would hold talks with the eastern commanders until April 22 and then decide on a further course of action, Master said.

The government and the Tigers met in February in Switzerland and ag