Sri Lanka withdraws from truce with Tamil Tigers

Jan 2, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s government Wednesday decided
to formally end a moribund peace process with Tamil rebels and withdraw
from a ceasefire arranged by peace broker Norway, top officials told
AFP.

“The cabinet of ministers today decided to pull out of the
ceasefire,” presidential spokesman Chandrapala Liyanage said. “The legal
process will now kick in.”

Under the February 2002 ceasefire brokered by Oslo, both the Sri
Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers had the option to pull out after
giving two weeks’ written notice to the Norwegian foreign minister.

Liyanage said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake proposed that
the government should formally quit the truce because it was holding
only on paper since an escalation of fighting in December 2005.

The defence ministry said the government had also decided to formally
end any negotiating process with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE), which was held responsible for a bomb attack in Colombo on
Wednesday which police said killed at least five and wounded 28.

“The government sees no point of having any attempt to come to a
settlement with a terrorist outfit,” the ministry said, quoting its