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Sri Lanka rejects Tamil call for truce

A Sri Lankan soldier carried his machine gun yesterday near the fighting. Tamil rebels called for a cease-fire. A Sri Lankan soldier carried his machine gun yesterday near the fighting. Tamil rebels called for a cease-fire. (Nir Elias/ Reuters)
Associated Press / February 24, 2009
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels, facing likely defeat on the battlefield, appealed for a cease-fire yesterday - a call immediately rejected by the government as a final effort by the separatists to "save their miserable skins."

The Tamil Tiger rebels have lost most of their strongholds to government forces and are trapped on a sliver of land in the northeast along with tens of thousands of civilians. The government says it will soon take the remaining rebel territory.

"We are ready to discuss, cooperate, and work together in all their efforts to bring an immediate cease-fire and work towards a political settlement," the Tamil Tigers' political chief, Balasingham Nadesan, wrote in the letter to the United Nations.

But Nadesan rejected international calls for the rebels to lay down their arms.

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