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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Interim Self Governing Authority & Aftermath > Sri Lanka rejects LTTE's Offer for Talks & vows to strengthen its armed forces
Sri Lanka rejects LTTE's Offer for Talks &
vows to strengthen its armed forces
- AFP, PTI 7 December 2004
Colombo, Dec. 7. (PTI): Sri Lanka on Monday vowed to do whatever it takes to strengthen its security forces and meet any threat after rejecting LTTE conditions to revive peace negotiations.
The Sri Lankan Parliament was told by Minister of Public Security, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, that the government will strengthen security forces to meet any threat to the nation.
He did not identify the source of the potential threat, but said the government was not agreeable to the conditions of the LTTE to resume negotiations.
"We will strengthen armed forces in terms of men, material, ideas and weapons," Wickremanayake said during a debate on the defence budget which goes up by eight per cent in the 2005 budget. "We are ready to meet any threat to this sovereign nation."
Parliament today approved the defence ministry spending of 56.29 billion rupees ($541 million), up from 52.08 billion rupees this year.
Wickremanayake, who is also the junior Defence Minister under President Chandrika Kumaratunga holding the defence portfolio, said the government was against conditions set by Tiger rebels to resume stalled talks.
He said Colombo was ready to discuss Tamil Tiger proposal to establish an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) granting them virtual self-rule, but it must be accompanied with talks on a final peace deal to the ethnic conflict.
"We are not ready to discuss only the ISGA," he said, adding "talks must be on a final settlement as well. That is our position and it is very clear."