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Sri Lanka, rebels begin new round of peace talks

Another round of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers rebels began Monday at a resort in Thailand

Another round of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels began Monday at a resort in Thailand.

In earlier sessions, the Norwegian-sponsored talks have produced several breakthroughs. The Tamil Tigers are no longer seeking a separate state and both sides have agreed to discuss the outlines of a federal constitution.

This fourth session will likely be a difficult one. Along with the constitutional system, key issues will include disarmament by the Tamil Tiger rebels and the return of displaced Sri Lankans to security zones maintained by the army.

The two sides decided to start the talks on humanitarian topics because finding agreement on disarmament and the constitution will be the most difficult and time-consuming part of the negotiations.

A team of Canadian experts led by former Ontario premier Bob Rae is expected to lend constitutional advice to both sides later in the week.

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