The Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have extended their deadline to replace the truce monitors from the EU nations, said the Norwegian truce monitoring group.
Thoffinur Omarsson, spokesman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), told a Sri Lankan television that the Tiger rebels have extended the deadline until Sep 1. He said: "This is a much happier situation for us."
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had earlier asked the Norwegian government to replace the monitors representing Sweden, Finland and Denmark within one month from June 19.
The Norwegians had told the LTTE that they needed six months to do so.
The Tigers made the demand that the EU monitors be changed after the EU decided to list the LTTE as a terrorist organisation at the end of May. The Tigers felt that they would be prejudiced in observing the February 2002 ceasefire.
At present, 37 of the 57 monitors in the SLMM come from the three countries in question.
The Sri Lankan government, however, is opposed to the Tigers' demand and claim that it is unreasonable.
Keheliya Rambukwella, government's defence spokesman, said the monitors from the three countries were individuals and they were not representing their nations.
The wrangle over the composition of the monitoring group is just one of many contentious issues which had impeded the Norwegian efforts to bring the two sides back into the negotiating process.