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Jan 16,2008
Sri Lanka rejects U.N. concerns
by UPI

GENEVA, Switzerland - Sri Lanka's U.N. mission in Switzerland Tuesday rejected as gratuitous a U.N. warning against its proposed withdrawal from the 2002 cease-fire.

Sri Lanka announced its decision two weeks ago to become effective Wednesday. The cease-fire between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger rebels was brokered by Norway but both sides have been accused of disregarding it in the past two years as violence has continued to escalate.

Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Tuesday warned both sides that any intensification of hostilities will likely have a devastating effect on the human rights of Sri Lankans from all communities.

Calling Arbour's statement "gratuitous," the Sri Lankan mission in a statement said, "The cease-fire ended quite some time ago, when the LTTE (the Tamil Tiger group) unilaterally returned to full-scale hostilities in December 2005 after having already committed thousands of violations."

Last week, the Tamil rebels on their Web site announced they are ready to implement fully the 2002 cease-fire.

The Sri Lankan security forces have been waging a relentless campaign against the Tigers in recent weeks, claiming major victories.

But B. Nadesan, head of the rebels' political wing, told the BBC, "Definitely, if they try to launch a major offensive against our forces the Sri Lankan forces will face severe casualties."

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Related news
Rebels ready to implement cease-fire terms by UPI posted on Jan 11,2008

Sri Lanka govt., rebels trade claims by UPI posted on Jan 22,2008

Report: Dozens die in Sri Lanka violence by UPI posted on Feb 13,2008

Report: Sri Lanka arrests journalists by UPI posted on Mar 14,2008

Sri Lanka strikes Tamil rebel base by UPI posted on Apr 04,2008

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