[ AFP ]
The US State Department on Friday urged the Sri Lankan and Tamil Tigers to start negotiating over the “legitimate” demands of the Tamils after Colombo announced a key win over the rebels. “The Sri Lankan government now seems to have made a gain through a military gain,” Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman, told reporters when asked for comment on the development. “We would also like to see that the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil opposition enter into a discussion that will resolve the legitimate issues held by the Tamils,” Duguid added. “But we repeat our call that the differences they have should be resolved peacefully,” he said. The Sri Lankan conflict over the Tigers’ demand for a separate Tamil homeland has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1972.