Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lakshman Kadirgamar in response to a month long unilateral ceasefire by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have said that the Government considered a ceasefire as a consequent step that would arise when negotiations proceed to the mutual satisfaction of both sides. Until then military operations would continue.
The statement released by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister with the approval of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is as follows:
"It has come to the notice of the Government of Sri Lanka that on December 21, the LTTE had announced, but not through the Government of Norway, a month long unilateral ceasefire as a goodwill measure to facilitate the peace process".
The Government has noted that no reference to a ceasefire was made by Mr. Prabhakaran either at his meeting with the Norwegian delegation on November 1 or in his speech on November 27.
The Government believes that further gestures of goodwill are unnecessary, when it has clearly indicated its wish to engage in talks with the LTTE forthwith on the substantial issues involved, with a view to resolving the ethnic question, ending the war and paving the way for a durable peace.
The Government considers a ceasefire as a consequent step that would arise when negotiations proceed to the mutual satisfaction of both sides. The Government of Sri Lanka repeats its call to the LTTE to engage honestly in this opportunity for peace. Until then, military operations will continue.
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