Sri Lanka to probe Tamil rebel accusations against government media, XINHUA
Fri June 18, 2004 04:10 EDT .
- - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -TO-PROBE sked Sri Lanka - to probe Tamil rebel accusations against government media, XINHUA
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COLOMBO, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government that hopes to recommence stalled direct peace negotiations with the Tamil Tiger rebels said on Thursday they would look into rebel accusations of carrying out a vicious campaign against them. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels had complained to the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka - that the state- owned radio had carried a program to discredit the rebels by promoting a breakaway commander of the LTTE.
Government spokesman and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the internal clashes within the LTTE was not a matter for the government to draw attention to as it was committed to a negotiated settlement to end the two decades of ethnic conflict. He said that although the government would like to have the talks in Sri Lanka - , the LTTE has insisted on having talks overseas.
The rebel demand to have their interim power sharing plan as the basis for discussion was accepted by President Chandrika Kumaratunga but she also wants the core issues on permanent solution to the country's ethnic conflict to be discussed simultaneously when the peace talks resume. Sanaraweera said that both the government and the LTTE should show flexibility in their efforts for the revival of the peace in the country as soon as possible.
The peace talks have been stalled since April last year when the LTTE staged a temporary pullout, accusing the then government of doing little to implement decisions reached at six rounds of negotiations between September 2002 and March 2003.
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Published: Fri Jun 18 09:19:10 EDT 2004