Tamil Tigers to put autonomy struggle on hold amid tsunami aftermath

Tamil Tiger rebels announced they were putting on hold their struggle for greater autonomy for the Tamil minority in order to deal with the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. Tamil Tiger rebels announced they were putting on hold their struggle for greater autonomy for the Tamil minority in order to deal with the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. “The political struggle will continue but we need to put that away now,” said Anton Balasingham, the London-based chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“The struggle will be there but now we are concentrating on the disaster made by nature,” Balasingham said after the LTTE’s elusive leader Velupillai Prabhakaran held talks here with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen.

Prabhakaran had announced in November that his LTTE might resume its “freedom struggle” unless Colombo agreed to end the impasse in peace talks, stalled since April 2003.

Saturday’s talks in the LTTE capital Kilinochchi had focused mainly on the plight of tens of thousands of people displaced by the tsunami in areas of the island controlled by the rebels, Balasingham said.

“They (Norwegians) want a mechanis