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Last updated: 13 April, 2006 - Published 11:50 GMT
 
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Geneva talks 'postponed'
 
Norwegian facilitators say that they have agreed on the Tamil Tiger rebels call on Thursday for a postponement of ceasefire talks scheduled for next week in Switzerland.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry said that peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer is in consultation with both parties on the issue.

Talking to the BBC Sinhala service "Sandeshaya" from Oslo Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman Rune Djastad said "we are in touch with both parties and Switzerland to solve the practical issues"

Djastad who added that they are aware of "the LTTE's need for new date change in the meeting" said that they are "working on it".

The Sri Lankan mission in Geneva has so far not received any information of a postponement or cancellation from Colombo and preparations are on going, he said.

The LTTE said on Thursday that they will not be able to attend the talks with the Sri Lankan government in Geneva scheduled for April 19-21.

Transport by sea

LTTE Spokesman Dayamaster told the BBC Sinhala Service that the Tiger leadership would be meeting their commanders from the east from April 15 to 22 and then will decide on a date for talks.

He said that the truce monitors (SLMM) on Thursday had offered transport to enable the commanders from the east to travel to the north.

The LTTE said that the Head of SLMM has suggested to arrange the sea transport of the LTTE’s eastern commanders by engaging a civilian vessel with SLMM monitors including the Head of Mission himself on board.

Tamil Tiger political head S P Tamilselvan has requested time to convey the proposal to the LTTE leadership.

Earlier, an offer by the Sri Lanka Government to transport the LTTE's eastern commanders by SL Navy vessels was rejected by the Tamil Tigers, whose request for air transport was turned down by the government.

 
 
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