The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tiger arms smuggling worries US

Colombo, Feb. 12 (Reuters): The US said today a recent attempt by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels to smuggle weapons was highly destabilising and could cast doubt on their desire for peace.

Three rebel weapons smugglers set their boat on fire and blew themselves up last week after neutral truce monitors discovered them carrying an anti-aircraft gun, several hundred rounds of ammunition and hand grenades.

“The apparent attempt to smuggle arms into Sri Lanka during the course of the peace process was highly destabilising and could call into question the Tigers’ stated wish to pursue a negotiated settlement,” the US embassy said in a statement.

“We urge the LTTE to commit itself fully to peace and desist from arms resupply efforts,” it said. Norway brokered last February’s truce and has been mediating talks to end the war that has killed 64,000 since 1983. Pressure from the US to stop the fighting has grown since the September 11 attacks.

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