Colombo, Sri Lanka — President Junius Jayewardene said Sunday his government has declared war on Tamil separatist guerrillas fighting for a separate state in the north and east of Sri Lankan whether there are peace talks or not,” he told an executive committee meeting of his ruling United National Party.
Jayewardene said civil servants would receive military training soon and warned that all Sri Lankans would have restrictions placed on their freedom, but did not elaborate.
Jayewardene, speaking three days before a three-month ceasefire between the government and the guerrillas will expire, said the government had declared war on the Tamil rebels.
He said the government cannot wait while the rebels step up an offensive. Police said rebels exploded a land mine Friday at Gal Oya, 125 miles northeast of Colombo, killing three people and damaging a train bound for the eastern provi has laid down fresh conditions for an extended ceasefire, said Tamil militants should renounce violence and secession.
“They should, thereafter, come for talks. If they accept this, we too will accept it,’ he said, accusing the rebels of intensifying their offensive in the northeastern district of Trincomalee, where they already control a 20mile stretch of land.
Jayewardene said ethnic Sinhalese in Trincomalee and neighboring Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura have been chased out of their homes by minority Tamil militants.
“We will resettle every one of those who have been forcibly ousted,” he declared.
Tamil guerrillas say they suffer discrimination from the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese majority.
The predominantly Hindu Tamils trace their ancestral roots back to the southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka has accused India of harboring training camps for Tamil rebels near Madras, the state capital.
A ceasefire, sponsored by the Indian government, began June 18 and was to have lasted until Wednesday. It was imposed to facilitate talks between the government and the guerrillas in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
Negotiations were abandoned after two rounds last month when Tamil groups walked out, accusing security forces of killing Tamil civilians.
Since then, Sri Lanka has given Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi a fresh set of proposals to end the ethnic conflict.
In Madras, Tamil militant groups announced Friday they have asked Gandhi to arrange a discussion of the proposals.
Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka J. N. Dixit, who returned to Colombo Friday after meeting with Gandhi, said he awaited an invitation to brief Jayewardene.
Article extracted from this publication >> September 20, 1985