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Lanka, LTTE agree to stop violence

In a major breakthrough at the Geneva talks on Thursday, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan government agreed to stop killings, abductions, intimidation and violence, and to meet in Geneva again from April 19 to 21.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 18:55 IST

In a major breakthrough at the Geneva talks on Thursday, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan government agreed to stop killings, abductions, intimidation and violence, and to meet in Geneva again from April 19 to 21.

Assisted by peace maker Norway, the two parties had met to discuss the implementation of the controversial Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of 2002 amidst fears that a breakdown of the talks could lead to resumption of full-scale war.

A statement issued on behalf of the two parties by Norway, said: "The GOSL (Government of Sri Lanka) and the LTTE are committed to respecting and upholding the Ceasefire Agreement and reconfirm their commitment to fully cooperate with and respect the rulings of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM)."

"The GOSL and the LTTE are committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no intimidation, acts of violence, abductions or killings."

"The LTTE is committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no acts of violence against the security forces and police."

"The GOSL is committed to taking all necessary measures in accordance with the Ceasefire Agreement to ensure that no armed group or person other than government security forces will carry arms or conduct armed operations."

Both the government and the LTTE have reasons to be happy with the agreement.

From the government's point of view, it is good that the LTTE has agreed to end all acts of violence, killings, intimidation and abductions and respect the rulings of the truce monitors, the SLMM.

The LTTE had been made to discuss the touchy issue of the recruitment of children to its fighting units. Though Thursday's agreement did not say that child recruitment would cease, the government and the LTTE would discuss it within the larger rubric of the welfare of children in the war-affected North East of Sri Lanka.

From the LTTE's point of view, the Geneva agreement is good because it has made the government agree to rein in the Tamil paramilitaries, including the Karuna group, although the term "Tamil paramilitaries" does not occur in the agreement nor is the Karuna group named.

First Published: Feb 25, 2006 18:55 IST