Sri Lanka to re-look at truce with Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

May 7, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka was ready to negotiate a fresh ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels as the Norwegian-brokered truce had virtually collapsed, a government minister said Monday.

Defence ministry spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the ceasefire arranged and put in place by Norway from February 2002 had been violated more than 10,000 times and was virtually dead.

“There is no point in beating round the bush,” Rambukwella told reporters when asked if the government accepted that the truce agreement was still on place. “The government is ready to re-look at it.”

“It has been violated over 10,000 times by the Tigers. Yes, the ceasefire is there to make the international community happy, but you know the reality,” said Rambukwella who is also the minister of foreign employment.

He said the government reserved the right to take any action to safeguard its “national interests” despite any provision of the truce limiting military action against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Both the government and the Tamil Tigers have carried out air attacks against each other despite the ceasefire expressly prohibiting aerial strikes.

Rambukwella said the m