Sri Lankan war rebels cease fire for semis | india | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lankan war rebels cease fire for semis

india Updated: Apr 24, 2007 20:33 IST
Sri Lankan war rebels to cease fire for semis

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are to take a brief break from battle later on Tuesday to watch the national cricket team play New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals.

"There may not be any attacks tonight because we are also watching the match," Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told by telephone from the rebel-held north of the island.

Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran is believed to be a cricket fan.

The comments came the morning after the Tigers staged an air strike against the military's main facility in the northern peninsula of Jaffna - the latest violence in a bloody civil war.

Sri Lanka's national team consists of two members of the minority Tamil community. Religious leaders have said the multi-ethnic side could be an example of unity to fractured nation.

Government sources said there would be no lowering of its guard during the live broadcast from Jamaica of the semi-finals overnight Tuesday, even though the rest of the country will virtually shut down.

Official functions were also adjusted for the game.

The government's spokesman on defence, Keheliya Rambukwella, was to host a dinner reception Tuesday, but fearing a low turnout he arranged for a widescreen TV to show the match.