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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

US ambassador to Sri Lanka threatens

[b]US ambassador to Sri Lanka threatens the LTTE[/b]

In a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka on Tuesday, US ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead delivered a blunt warning to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to return to the negotiating table or confront a strengthened Sri Lankan military backed by the US.

Lunstead's comments come amid rapidly escalating tensions on the island where the military and the LTTE are engaged in what amounts to an undeclared war. There is mounting evidence that both sides are deliberately heightening communal tensions and carrying out provocative attacks and murders. Each denies responsibility for the wave of killings.

Washington has already signalled where it will stand in the event of open war. Just four days before Lunstead's speech, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Washington and lauded the "restraint" shown by President Mahinda Rajapakse government "in the face of the LTTE provocations." She declared that Washington was working with "Sri Lanka to defeat terrorism."

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