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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tamil Tigers lose source of weapons

Tamil Tigers lose source of weapons

P rime Minister Hun Sen has promised the Sri Lankan prime minister to end a long-running flow of weapons from Cambodia to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

"Hun Sen asked Sri Lanka to trust Cambodia that no more weapons would enter Sri Lanka," government spokesman Khieu Kanharith told news media on November 30.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wikremanayake arrived in Cambodia on November 29 for a four-day visit. For decades the Tamil Tigers have been waging a guerrilla war for an independent state in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, that has been marked by bombings, assassinations and failed peace talks.

Cambodia has long been a source of weapons for the LTTE. In 1996 the Bangkok-based Sri Lankan ambassador, Sarala Fernando, conveyed Colombo's alarm to the Cambodian government about the LTTE running armaments, munitions, and explosives out of Phnom Penh, the Post reported at the time.

The Cambodian government last year admitted for the first time that arms had been smuggled out of the country to guerrillas in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Myanmar.

But Hun Sen has now vowed the flow will end, Kanharith said, and has promised to exchange intelligence with the Sri Lankan government to ensure this is achieved.

Hun Sen condemned the LTTE for using violence as a means to achieve an independent homeland, and offered his support to the Sri Lankan government's efforts to find a peaceful solution with the LTTE.

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