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Sri Lanka's Government, Tamil Rebels Open Talks Wednesday


Sri Lankan government officials and Tamil rebels are to meet this week in Switzerland to discuss preserving a fragile truce.

Peace monitors will oversee the two-day meeting in Geneva between the warring factions.

Discussions, scheduled to start Wednesday, will center around a truce brokered by Norway in 2002.

Although subsequent peace talks broke down one year later, the truce largely held until recently. But renewed violence has put the ceasefire in jeopardy. Since December, more than 150 Sri Lankans have been killed.

Officials have expressed concern that the country could fall back into civil war if this week's talks fail.

The rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority in the north and east since 1983.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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