COLOMBO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's main Tamil democratic party the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Saturday called for immediate end to the armed clashes between the Tamil Tigers and the government troops.
"We urge talks to start soon. Peace can not be achieved by war as it means only destruction," Nadaraja Raviraj, one of the TNA's 22 legislators in the Sri Lankan parliament, told reporters.
Raviraj said the TNA wishes to urge both the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels to stop fighting and sit down for talks.
The legislator said that the Sri Lankan Tamil minority was looking for the goodwill of 60 million Tamils living across the waters in south India.
He said that a TNA delegation which visited the Indian capital of New Delhi with the objective of meeting the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had failed to secure an appointment with the Indian leader to discuss Sri Lanka's ongoing situation.
The LTTE and the military have been engaged in some of the worst clashes since the troubled Norwegian backed peace cease-fire came into force in February 2002.
The clashes since late July cost hundreds of lives and displaced over 200,000 people.
Both sides say they want to engage in talks but appear happy to pursue military pursuits.
Meanwhile, the defense authorities said that 17 suspected persons were arrested in Colombo on Saturday in a security operation carried out from 8:30 a.m. (0300 GMT) to 1:30 p.m. (0800GMT).
The security authorities are in the habit of carrying out surprise security checks to nab suspected members of the LTTE entering the capital ever since the military clashes broke out in the Northern and Eastern provinces in late July. Enditem