UN urges Sri Lanka, LTTE to talk

Moon has appealed to the Lankan Govt and the LTTE to go for talks sans pre-conditions, reports PK Balachandran.
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Updated on Mar 28, 2007 01:51 PM IST
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None | ByPK Balachandran, Colombo

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has appealed to the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to go for talks without pre-conditions as soon as possible to end the vicious cycle of attack and retaliation.

In the first ever international reaction to the LTTE's aerial bombardment of the Sri Lankan Air Force's main base near Colombo on Monday, Ban Ki-moon said that he was "disturbed" by the LTTE air raid, and that he "deeply regretted" the air raids conducted by the Sri Lankan Air Force, the military confrontations on the ground, and also the suicide bombings, which had prompted massive displacement of civilians.

A UN release said on Tuesday that the Secretary General wanted the two sides to stop this cycle of violence and go for talks "as soon as possible without preconditions."

The Sri Lankan government had been very worried about the fact that no government, including India, had issued a statement condemning the LTTE's brazen aerial strike.

"Why hasn't India reacted? What prevents LTTE aircraft from going the same distance northwards (towards India) ?" asked an exasperated foreign ministry official.

The UN Secretary General's statement is seen here as being unsatisfactory because it equates a legitimate state with a terror group.

There is no condemnation of the LTTE's act as such, and there is no indication of any UN action against such terror groups, Sri Lankan political observers note.

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