Tigers accuse Lankan govt of waging ‘proxy war’

Agence France Presse

Colombo, July 4:

Tamil Tiger rebels have stepped up a war of words against the Sri Lankan government since Norway failed in its latest bid to revive peace talks, officials said today. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) accused the government of fighting a "proxy war" against them.

The LTTE made it clear the truce that went into effect some 28 months ago was in danger following the government’s alleged support for breakaway Tiger leader Karuna. Military officials said new army chief Shantha Kottegoda was keen to reopen dialogue with the LTTE in the eastern province where Tigers have suspended meetings to review the implementation of the Oslo-arranged truce.

Kottegoda himself said on Thursday that he feared tension at lower levels could endanger the truce that went into effect under a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties. The LTTE’s official peace secretariat website yesterday reproduced a Tamil language newspaper editorial slamming government forces for their alleged backing to Karuna to stage attacks in the volatile east. "Until the MoU is implemented in full, there can be no meaningful talks of peace between the government and the LTTE," the pro-rebel Tamil language Uthayan newspaper said. "It is a hollow gesture to say peace talks will resume, without bringing an end to the secret proxy war."