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JVP demands fresh peace process in Sri Lanka

A key member of the island's ruling coalition, JVP, has demanded a fresh peace process to replace the Norwegian-led initiative.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 16:57 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

A key member of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition on Tuesday demanded a brand-new peace process to replace the Norwegian-led initiative, which it said had "failed".

The Marxist JVP or People's Liberation Front said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should adopt a "fresh approach" to negotiating peace with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"This is a new beginning," the JVP said in a statement.

"This is not a continuation of the failed peace process in the past. We believe that during this period of talks and ceasefire, no fighting should take place."

The nationalistic JVP, which backed Rajapaksa at his election in November, has been highly critical of Norway and wanted the Scandinavians out.

Rajapaksa has done a U-turn and invited Norway to stay on and agreed to open face-to-face talks with the Tigers in Geneva next week, ending a three-year deadlock in the troubled peace bid.

An upsurge in violence since December saw over 150 people killed in violence in the island's troubled northern and eastern regions. The talks in Geneva are aimed at saving the truce.

The JVP and other hard-line elements backing Rajapaksa have called for a rewriting of the truce that went into effect from February 23, 2002.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 16:57 IST