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Tamil Rebels: Sri Lankan Peace Process in Jeopardy


Tamil Tiger rebels say the Sri Lankan peace process could be in jeopardy because the government has failed to deliver on promises made during peace talks in Geneva last month.

The head of the rebels' political wing, S. P. Thamilselvan, made the remark during a meeting Thursday with Norway's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hans Brattskar in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi.

Thamilselvan said attacks have continued, despite Colombo's agreement to disarm para-military units opposed to the rebels. He said this absence of action on the government's part puts the next round of talks scheduled for April 19 in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Aid Minister Erik Solheim says he will reduce his role as peace mediator between the two sides. He said a new special envoy will be appointed soon.

Solheim said he has to reduce his participation in the peace process because it is taking time away from his other government responsibilities.

Tamil Tigers began their insurgency in 1983, to establish a separate homeland. More than 64,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Solheim helped broker a truce between the Colombo government and the rebels in 2002. But the truce has been fragile lately, and more than 150 people were killed in fighting in December and January.

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