NEW DELHL, Sept 19, Reuter: India said on Monday a five day ceasefire in the battle against Tamil separatist rebels in Si Lanka would be extended for five more days.

A Government statement said the ceasefire, originally due to expire on Tuesday morning, was being extended at the request of “the citizenry” of northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

The announcement in New Delhi came after the Colombo government offered an unconditional amnesty for Tamil rebels.

Legal sources said about 500 Tamils were being held in Sri Lankan prisons and an unknown number by Indian troops sent to the island under an accord signed by New Delhi and Colombo aimed at ending the Tamil revolt.

Political sources said they doubted if the liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the main rebel group, would accept the amnesty.

The Sri Lankan government announced that nominations for crucial provincial council elections in the north and east would be received between October 3 and 10 and the poll would be completed mid-November.

The semiautonomous council is a key element in the Indian Sri Lankan accord.

The Government in a statement said the elections would go ahead despite “uncertain security conditions created by the intransigence” of the LITE, which rejects the accord.


Article extracted from this publication >> September 23, 1988