5:59 AM

Call to surrender arms first

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that a ceasefire would solely depend on the LTTE’s readiness to lay down arms. He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had repeatedly emphasised that fresh negotiations

wouldn’t take place as long as the LTTE remained armed. "There’ll be no change in our position," he told News-lanka yesterday.

He said that the LTTE political wing leader Nadesan had conveniently forgotten the LTTE quitting talks in April 2003.

"We abrogated the ceasefire years later," he said adding that the ground offensive was on track with the army making steady progress.