Sri Lanka Tiger leader says patience is running out+
Sat November 27, 2004 10:17 EST .
- - COLOMBO, Nov. 27 (Kyodo) The leader of Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tigers on Saturday hinted at a return to war if the government does not agree to an immediate revival of peace talks on the basis of the rebels' proposals for an interim self-governing authority for the claimed Tamil homeland in the northeast. ''If the government of Sri Lanka - rejects our urgent appeal and adopts delaying tactics, perpetuating the suffering of our people, we have no alternative other than to advance the freedom struggle of our nation,'' he said.
Demanding that the peace talks deadlocked since April last year be resumed on the basis of the proposal for a self-governing authority, the Tiger leader, however, conceded that ''if some elements of our proposals are deemed problematic or controversial, these issues can be resolved through discussions at the negotiating table.''
President Chandrika Kumaratunga has repeatedly stated her eagerness to return to the negotiating table but on the basis of working out a permanent solution to the three-decade long ethnic problem.
''We are living in a political void, without war, without a stable peace, without the conditions of normalcy, without an interim or permanent solution to the ethnic conflict,'' Prabhakaran said.
The Tiger leader, who marked his 50th birthday on Friday, accused Kumaratunga of adopting delaying tactics to placate her Marxist coalition partner, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna which is strongly opposed to the self-governing demand.
Nowhere in his long speech did Prabhakaran indicate a willingness to abandon his separatist demand or explore a federal solution on which the Colombo government has placed great faith, saying that the Tamils are entitled to ''self-determination, including the right to secede.''
He called for international support for his demand that the peace talks resume ''on the basis of our fair and reasonable stand.''
Published: Sat Nov 27 11:14:03 EST 2004