Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sri Lanka rejects Tamil rebels' ceasefire

COLOMBO (AFP) – The Sri Lanka government rejected a ceasefire declared by Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday, defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said, instead demanding that the cornered guerrillas surrender.

Rajapakse, who leads the government's military campaign against the Tigers, said there was no need for a ceasefire as the military was about to defeat the separatist fighters.

"It must be a joke," Rajapakse told AFP in response to the Tigers' ceasefire, which the rebels said would allow international aid agencies into the conflict zone to help civilians.

"What is the need for a ceasefire when they are running away? They should first lay down arms, surrender and let the people go," Rajapakse said.

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