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LTTE's ceasefire offer hilarious, says Lankan govt
T V Sriram in Colombo | February 24, 2009 15:57 IST
Dismissing as 'hilarious' the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's ceasefire offer, the Sri Lankan government termed it a ploy, saying the Tamil Tigers call for a truce whenever they are on the verge of defeat.
"It has been the modus operandi of the LTTE [Images] to pressurise the international community and cease the current humanitarian operation to liberate trapped civilians," Defence Affairs spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.
"The international community has fully acknowledged the nature of the LTTE, though they should pressurise the LTTE to surrender and release civilians," he said.
"The country and the world are quite aware of the nature of the LTTE. It is a ploy used by the LTTE over the last two decades, when it is about to be militarily defeated. Every time the LTTE is on the verge of defeat militarily and losing weapons and equipment, then it calls a truce," Rambukwella told the state owned Daily News.
The LTTE has written a letter to the United Nations, Britain, Japan [Images], Norway and the United States, indicating its readiness to agree to a ceasefire with the government, but refusing to lay down arms and surrender.
Rambukwella, who is also a senior cabinet minister, referred to the letter and said, "LTTE political head B Nadesan, in the first place, has to understand what a ceasefire is. It's hilarious".
Rambukwella said that the LTTE, by breaching the ceasefire agreement, has brought 'calamity' to the country and the people. Peace talks were held with the outfit on several occasions by leaders but the LTTE violated all these agreements and brought about destruction, he said.
"The Indo-Lanka peace accord by late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi [Images] and the 13th Amendment called for the LTTE to lay down arms and surrender. What they did was laying down arms and going back to the jungle to fight again," he said, adding that they also assassinated Rajiv Gandhi.
"There will be no ceasefire until terrorism is defeated," the newspaper quoted Rambukwella as saying.