Nakorn Pathom (Thailand), Jan. 8 (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s government and Tamil Tiger rebels brushed aside a dispute over disarming during peace talks today and firmed up a timetable for rebuilding war-hit areas of the island.
It was the third day of the current round of talks, which are being held in Thailand, and the two sides picked the World Bank to run a fund to pay for the rebuilding. The dispute over disarming has overshadowed the talks, which aim to end two decades of war that has killed 64,000 people. Yesterday, the Tamil Tigers pulled out of a special committee on de-escalation to protest against calls for the rebels to disarm.
But government spokesman G.L. Peiris said solid progress was made today, adding the rebels’ withdrawal from the panel would not hinder a peace bid that has given the island its best chance yet of ending the ethnic war.