Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan gov't ready to review cease-fire agreement with rebels

COLOMBO, Aug 5, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that the government is ready to "review" the cease-fire agreement it reached with the Tiger rebels three and a half years ago, the presidential office said Friday in a press release.
According to the press release, Kumaratunga told visiting Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen on Thursday that the review, as proposed by Norwegian-led international peace monitors, is distinct from a "renegotiation" of the agreement.

Kumaratunga said that the review can help remedy the current gaps in the agreement and build confidence on the basis of mutual responsibility and reciprocity between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The president once again expressed her commitment to reopen direct negotiations between the government and the LTTE.

On the other hand, LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan maintained that there was no need to review the ongoing truce agreement.

During his talks with Helgesen on Friday, Thamilselvan said that the need has not arisen to do so despite Kumaratunga's view that the February 2002 agreement must now be reviewed.

Helgesen visited the rebel controlled northern town of Kilinochchi on Friday and held talks with Thamilselvan.