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SL, LTTE to hold talks on Oct 28-30

The Lankan cabinet approves the dates and LTTE agrees to talk unconditionally in Geneva, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2006 02:42 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran

The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE have agreed to hold talks in Geneva from October 28 to 30.

The Defense Spokesman of the government Keheliya Rambukwella said on Wednesday that the Sri Lankan cabinet had approved the dates and that the LTTE had agreed to talk "unconditionally".

Christening the talks as 'Geneva II', he said that they were "long awaited".

And the government was "very happy" that the LTTE had agreed to talk "unconditionally", he added.

At the talks, the government would discuss "substantive issues", Rambukwella said.

However, the government had made it clear to the Facilitators, Norway, and the LTTE, that if at any time during the peace process, the LTTE, in any way, threatened "national security", the government would have the right to "respond appropriately".

Among the threats to national security were terrorist actions, assassinations, attacks on the armed forces and smuggling of arms by sea.

Asked if, as part of the deal, the government would stop the aerial bombardment of the LTTE areas which was going on daily, Rambukwella said that aerial bombardment was taking place only as a response to the LTTE's artillery and mortar shelling.

First Published: Oct 05, 2006 02:42 IST