The LTTE today said it was willing to engage in a process to bring about a ceasefire in Sri Lanka’s battered north, but the government dismissed their offer as an “eyewash”.
Appealing to British and French governments to continue their initiatives for a ceasefire, the beleaguered rebels said they were ready to negotiate for an “enduring solution” to the problem.
“We are ready to engage in the process to bring about a ceasefire and enter into negotiations for an enduring resolution to the conflict,” LTTE political head B Nadesan said in a letter to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner dated yesterday.
Nadesan also claimed that Tamil civilians were willingly living under Tiger control and asked for an “international monitoring mechanism” to ascertain their plight.
In the letter carried by the TamilNet, Nadesan warned that the government’s “objective of imposing a final solution through military means” will destabilise the region.
The government, however, rejected the LTTE’s appeal for negotiations as an “eyewash,” and said the rebels have to lay down arms and surrender.
“Whatever the LTTE says in this connection (ceasefire) is misleading and an eye wash. They are not at all serious about it,” a defence ministry official said.
“We have made it clear that the LTTE must lay down arms and surrender,” the official said.