The Sri Lankan government and the Tamil tiger rebels will begin a fresh round of peace talks in Geneva today, in an attempt to find a solution to the two-decade long ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka that has claimed over 65,000 lives till now. Hostilities between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil tigers resurfaced in 2005 after a four-year long cease-fire, which begun in 2001. Heavy fighting between the government troops and the rebels in recent months have left more than a thousand people dead, including hundreds of innocent civilians. Many people in this war-battered country are not optimistic about the peace talks in Geneva, as many such peace-initiatives in the past have failed to end the bloody conflict in Sri Lanka.
The Tamil tiger rebels are demanding that the Sri Lankan government should open the link between northern Jaffna peninsula and the rest of Sri Lanka, failing which the rebels would not agree for any further talks on resolving this conflict. The linking road between northern Jaffna and rest of the country was closed in August this year, following a fierce battle that broke out between the two sides. Experts believe that the peace talks in Geneva could be the last effort to prevent an all-out war in Sri Lanka and if it fails the country could witness a bloody conflict between the Tamil tigers and the Sri Lankan troops in near future.