Colombo, June 25 (AFP): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga fears Tamil Tiger rebels are gearing up for war as Norwegian-backed peace talks remain deadlocked, her spokeperson said today.
Kumaratunga, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, believes that troops have ammunition to last them only 10 days in the event of a major rebel onslaught to retake their former heartland of Jaffna, spokesperson Harim Peiris said.
“The President believes that the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is once again preparing to go to war,” Peiris told reporters here, noting the Tigers were attacking intelligence operatives to weaken security forces.
Kumaratunga, who is in an uneasy cohabitation government, is highly critical of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s handling of the peace process.
Talks between the LTTE and the government have been deadlocked since April 21 when the rebels announced they were suspending their participation to protest what they called the failure on the part of the government to fulfil promises.
Norway has been trying to revive the talks which are aimed at ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed that has claimed over 60,000 lives.
Peiris said the Tigers were behaving in the same way they did just before the failure of a previous peace process with Kumaratunga which ended in more fighting in April 1995.