Tamils step up pressure on Sri Lanka troops to quit

Tamil civilians backed by Tiger rebels stepped up demands for the withdrawal of troops from Sri Lanka’s embattled regions, the guerrillas said Wednesday, after the US warned them against returning to war. Tamil civilians backed by Tiger rebels stepped up demands for the withdrawal of troops from Sri Lanka’s embattled regions, the guerrillas said Wednesday, after the US warned them against returning to war. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a statement posted on their website said thousands of minority Tamils staged a rally in the north-eastern district of Trincomalee Tuesday to demand a military pullout.

“…the Tamil people once again congregated on Tuesday (and) reiterated the demand to the Sri Lankan military to quit the parts of Tamil homeland that it occupies,” the statement said.

The Tigers said the mother of a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber lit a “flame of sacrifice” to kick off the ceremonies.

The Tigers made no reference to the sinking of a navy gunboat together with 15 sailors on Saturday in the same district, or remarks by United States ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead slamming the rebels for a wave of violence.

Lunstead warned Tiger rebels on Tuesday that a return to