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Sri Lankan Marxists Urge Government to be Tough with Tamil Rebels

More than 2,500 Sri Lankan Marxists have marched in Colombo to press the government to cancel planned peace talks with Tamil rebels and to punish them instead for a rash of killings blamed on the rebels.

The People's Liberation Front, which left the coalition government over plans to share tsunami aid with the rebels, said it is time to get tough with the Tigers.

The protesters carried a picture of slain Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, an ethnic Tamil who helped outlaw the Tamil Tigers in the United States and Britain. The Sri Lankan government has blamed the group for his assassination, a charge denied by the Tamil Tigers.

Norwegian mediators are arranging emergency talks between the government and the rebels to find ways to save a more than three-year-old cease-fire.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.