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SL jets bomb as envoy talks to LTTE

Lankan jets bomb Tiger areas while peace envoy Bauer talks to LTTE leader, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 16:35 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran

Sri Lankan jets bombed LTTE areas in Thenmarachchi and the LTTE fired mortars and artillery on Sri Lankan Army positions in Muhamalai on Tuesday, even as the Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer was talking to the LTTE’s Political Wing leader SP Tamilselvan in Kilinochchi about resuming the stalled peace talks.

The National Security Media Centre said that at about 11.45 am, the LTTE started firing mortars and artillery at Muhamalai, and the army returned the fire.

The air force then joined the fray and took on LTTE targets in Palai and Palai North in Thenmarachchi, and also Pooneryn, across the Jaffna lagoon.

Meanwhile, in Kilinochchi, the LTTE’s political leadership told the Norwegian Special Envoy that while the LTTE was ready for "unconditional" talks, the Sri Lankan government was continuing its "terror campaign" with aerial bombing missions, extrajudicial killings, blocking of access to humanitarian agencies, abducting Tamils, and violating human rights.

"Colombo is carrying on a unilateral offensive. There is no credible sign of improvement on the Sri Lankan side," Tamilselvan told Hanssen Bauer.

Asked by media on what the LTTE proposed to do, Tamilselvan said that it would depend entirely on the Sri Lankan government.

"So far we have been flexible for talks. But Colombo seems to be locked in a military mindset," the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website quoted him as saying.

Bauer later briefed the Sri Lankan government on his talks with Tamilselvan.

Bauer was expected to get the LTTE’s reaction to the government’s offer of "conditional" talks either on October 30 or November 2 in Geneva.

The government had said that ahead of the talks, the LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran should give a guarantee that his organization would enter into sincere talks; that it would not disturb the ceasefire agreement with violence, and that it would not smuggle in arms through the sea during the peace process.

First Published: Oct 03, 2006 20:25 IST