COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan government announced Wednesday that it has reached agreement with the most powerful Tamil guerrilla group to end all hostilities, the first such accord in six years of civil war.
The government said that Anton Balasingham, the leader of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who has been negotiating with authorities, agreed to convert an eight-week-old truce into a permanent end to hostilities.
"The government will end all hostilities against the (Liberation Tigers) in the future," said a government statement quoting Cabinet minister Shahul Hameed, who negotiated the accord with Balasingham.
"From now on they will not fight us," a senior government source said. "Earlier, we had agreed not to fight each other for the limited purpose of holding talks. Now they will not oppose us permanently."