Sri Lanka Tuesday expressed fears of a return to war after the slaying of a top Tiger rebel amid moves by peace broker Norway and foreign lenders to rebuild the war-ravaged and tsunami-hit nation. The Sri Lankan government said that the killing of a senior Tamil Tiger rebel and five others had heightened the risk of a return to hostilities endangering a truce that is in place since February 2002.
"The government calls on all concerned parties to prevent further violations of the ceasefire, gravely risking a return to conflict, and instead to support the peace process and move ahead," a government statement said.
It condemned the killing, but officials said no arrests had been made although security had been stepped up in the region after the slaying.
There was no formal reaction from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to Monday's killing of their eastern provincial political chief, E. Koushalyan, and five others, but sources close to the rebels said they were "furious.