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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

Colonel Karuna demands the disarming of LTTE

[b]Colonel Karuna demands the disarming of LTTE[/b]

[b]Colombo, 21 February, ( [/b]V.Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna, leader of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal has demanded the disarmament of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam under international supervision. "It is important that LTTE too must hand over its weapons at the same time under international supervision," Karuna said.

"If Sri Lanka forces disarm all the armed groups and us ... it will only give legitimacy for the LTTE to extend its writ to kill us," Leader of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) reportedly has said in an e-mail interview with Reuters new agency

"Any hand over of arms must be part of (a) conflict resolution process at a stage when normalcy and trust is established," Karuna added.

The Tigers have said that their demand that the government disarms armed groups is a pivotal issue at the February 22-23 talks, and have warned the talks will decide whether there is peace or a return to a war that has already killed more than 64,000 people.

Col. Karuna's call is against the backdrop of the LTTE's demand that the Government disarm "paramilitaries" under the provisions of the February 2002 ceasefire agreement.

Karuna made the comments just two days before the government and the Tigers are due to meet in Switzerland for talks widely seen as a last chance to avoid a return to a two-decade civil war.

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