Tamil Tigers threaten to renew hostilities

Nov. 29, 2005 at 3:32 PM
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam threaten renewed hostilities if the government doesn't make a "reasonable" political deal.

The deadline for a deal is the end of the year.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, better known by the acronym LTTE, have been fighting authorities in Colombo for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983. More than 60,000 people have died in the conflict.

LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said in his annual policy statement that President Mahinda Rajapakse should put forward a "reasonable political framework" before 2006.

In a speech broadcast over the rebel Voice of Tigers radio Prabhakaran said, "This is our urgent and final appeal. If the new government rejects our urgent appeal, we will, next year ... establish self-government in our homeland. The past four years of the peace process have miserably failed to address the most urgent humanitarian needs faced by hundreds of thousands of Tamil refugees displaced by war and by the recent tsunami giving rise to hopelessness and disillusionment among our people. Our people have lost patience, hope and reached the brink of utter frustration. They are not prepared to be tolerant any longer. The new government should come forward soon with a reasonable political framework that will satisfy the political aspirations of the Tamil people," the Herald Sun reported.

Prabhakaran's annual speech was delivered at the end of Heroes' Week, which commemorates the nearly 18,000 LTTE guerrillas killed in the struggle with the government.

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