The Sri Lankan government has proposed October 30 and November 10 as two possible dates for peace talks with the LTTE, Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told newsmen here on Tuesday.
Colombo has also suggested that the talks be held in Geneva, he added.
Rambukwella confirmed that the government had laid down the following conditions for the talks:
• The LTTE Supremo, V Prabhakaran, must give a guarantee, in writing or otherwise, to the international community (namely, the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donors conference), the Norwegian Facilitators and the Sri Lankan government, that his organisation would engage in talks sincerely.
• The LTTE should not smuggle in arms through the sea during the period of the talks.
• If the LTTE were to indulge in violence during the talks, the government should have the right to retaliate or respond suitably.
These proposals were being taken up by the Norwegian facilitator, Jon Hanssen Bauer, with the LTTE's political wing leader, SP Tamilselvan, in Kiliniochchi on Tuesday, Rambukwella said.
Bauer was expected to fly back to Colombo the same evening to brief the Sri Lankan government.
White mercenaries with LTTE
Rambukwella said that the armed forces had found the bodies of two white mercenaries in the war-zone in the North East.
"The dead looked like Whites. We have taken up the matter with the diplomatic missions," he said, but refused to give details.
The government spokesman said that foreign mercenaries might have entered the war-zone as part of the rush of International NGOs (INGOs) during the tsunami disaster in December 2004.
The government, he said, had sent back six INGOs (from France, Spain and the USA) for suspected shady dealings with the LTTE.
One INGO had given "lift bags" used to clear debris in the sea to a LTTE front organisation in Kalmunai in South East Sri Lanka, when it should have given them to the Navy as per the original understanding.
LTTE bid to land in Kayts fails
The army spokesman, Brig Prasad Samarasinghe, said that the LTTE had made a bid to land in Kayts island off Jaffna, but had failed. The LTTE lost five fighters in the battle.
The LTTE continued to fire mortars and artillery sporadically at army positions in Muhamalai and Nagarkovil.
An attempt to attack a police station in Murunkan in Mannar district on Tuesday was repulsed, Brig Samarasinghe said.