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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > After 2005 Presidential Elections > Lanka peace: Norway for ‘close talks’ with India

Sri Lanka Peace Process:
Norway to Consolidate India's Support
Before Facilitating Next Round of Talks

[Indian Express, December 08, 2005 ]

Hours after Sri Lanka’s new President overturned an earlier statement and asked Norway to resume its role as facilitator of peace talks between the government and Tamil rebels, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg arrived in New Delhi to consolidate India’s support before facilitating the initiation of the next round of talks. Stoltenberg met PM Manmohan Singh on Thursday and will hold another meeting on Friday as well.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Stoltenberg, whose visit is ostensibly to discuss energy, free trade and bilateral relations, said, ‘‘My visit gives me the opportunity to have direct dialogue with the Indian leadership on the Sri Lankan peace process. It is important that we agree on all matters before we proceed, and more important for India and Norway to continue their close dialogue as far as the peace process is concerned.’’

Norway has so far brokered six rounds of talks in Sri Lanka, culminating in a 2002 truce that it feels has now been violated. On Wednesday, President Mahinda Rajapakse virtually withdrew a previous stand that Norway’s role as a facilitator would be reviewed, and informed Norwegian Ambassador to Colombo Hans Brattskar that Oslo could continue brokering peace between the government and the LTTE.

Stung by Rajapakse’s initial statements—and still uncertain about the apprehensions of the coalition government in Colombo—Stoltenberg said, ‘‘If they don’t want us, we have other things to do. We are interested in facilitating talks only if both parties are serious about reaching a resolution. If they’re not willing, there is no role for Norway.’’ He said the main challenge now was to get the peace process back on track. ‘‘The distance between the two parties has become too big, and that’s why there have been differences.’’

Violence between government forces and rebels have resulted in 15 deaths in the past one week alone, with the LTTE threatening to go back to a full-fledged insurrection if the government did not respond to its demands.

URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=83622




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