Sri Lanka: December 24, 2000


  The government has rejected the rebel offer of a one month ceasefire, even though the rebels say they will cease operations unilaterally. The move is seen as a desperate one by the rebels who are now on the defensive and need a break to rebuild their forces. The rebels have consistently refused to stop fighting and talk for the last 18 months. But then they were winning, and now they are losing and want to stop and talk. Meanwhile, in Jaffna, two days of heavy fighting left over a hundred rebels and 25 soldiers dead. Fourteen of the dead rebels were teenage girls, underscoring the increased rebel use of child soldiers. The army has continued to advance into rebel territory, capturing rebel arms dumps and camps along the way.  


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