Tigers pressure Norway to disarm Tamil rivals in Sri Lanka

Apr.05 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels Wednesday asked Norway’s new peace envoy to make sure Sri Lanka’s government disarms para-military groups ahead of a new round of truce negotiations in Switzerland. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they told Jon Hanssen-Bauer to ensure Colombo delivers on a pledge made in a previous round of talks in Switzerland in February to disarm groups that include a rival Tamil faction.

The LTTE said their political wing leader, S.P. Thamilselvan, expressed “concern and disappointment over non-fulfillment” of pledges relating to the activities rival Tamil militant groups.

“Our expectations were very high when the government delegation pledged… to end para-military activities and we are totally disappointed,” the LTTE quoted Thamilselvan as saying.

The rebels had sought security guarantees to travel to Switzerland for talks tentatively scheduled for April 19-21 and issued veiled threats that they may not participate unless the rivals were contained by the government.

The government has denied Tiger allegations that it supports a breakaway rebel faction and other groups to carry out attacks against the main guerrilla outfit.

Hanssen-Bauer, O