Sri Lanka's prime minister on Tuesday said peace talks with Tamil Tigers will go on and urged the rebels to stop "terrorism" a day after the rebel leader said the minority must have an independent state.
"There is terrorism and there is negotiations," said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, speaking during a visit to Vietnam.
"Negotiations will go on," he said, stressing his government's commitment to a power-sharing plan with the rebels.
"Ultimately the Tamil people must decide whether they accept terrorism or not, not we."
He added: "We want dual power, dual authority... so all can share administrative powers and authority."
Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran had said Monday in his annual address from a secret hideout that the Tamil minority must have their own independent state, effectively ending the island's peace process.
Prabhakaran, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, accused the Colombo government of waging military and economic war against Tamils and said they were left "with no other option but an independent state."