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Lanka rejects rebel ceasefire

world Updated: Jul 22, 2008 23:32 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said that it was not bound by the ceasefire to be observed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the coming summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Colombo.

The LTTE had made the announcement late on Monday night that it would not carry out any military action while the summit was on. But reacting to the announcement on Tuesday in Parliament, Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama played down its implication. “The government is not bound to LTTE’s ceasefire during the SAARC summit. Neither was it being specifically discussed within the government,” Bogollagama said.

Earlier, according to a government news portal, it was the Royal Norwegian Government, which formally informed Sri Lanka of the LTTE’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire from July 26 to August 4.

The ceasefire announcement was made by the political wing of the LTTE, which is fighting for a Tamil homeland in the island nation. The SAARC summit, to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will be held between July 27 and August 3.

“We wish for the success of the SAARC conference and we also extend our goodwill and support to the countries of our region, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives,'” the LTTE release added.