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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

Norway sends an old retiree to re-start talks

[b]Norway sends an old retiree to re-start talks [/b]

From our Colombo Correspondent

[b]Colombo, 10 September, ( [/b]After the LTTE blocked talks on the Ceasefire Agreement by rejecting Katunayake International Airport as the venue the Norwegians have decided to send Major General (Ret’d) Trond Furuhovde, former head of mission of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, to consult both parties on the deteriorating security situation.

He is due to visit Sri Lanka within the next month as special representative of the Royal Norwegian Government. He is also expected to hold talks on “the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement.”

Katunayake International Airport was “determined” as the most suitable venue for both parties by the Norwegians. Though the Sri Lankan government accepted it, Tamil Tigers rejected it. This has brought the proposed talks on revising the Ceasefire Agreement back to square one.

Political observers speculate that President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is eyeing the Nobel Peace Prize on her way out of office, will give in to the Tamil Tigers. They argue that she arranged for the P-TOMS headquarters to be located in Killlinochchi hoping to get the Nobel Peace Prize. It won’t surprise the nation if she agrees to hold the talks in Killinochchi also, they said. An SLFP source who did not want to be named told the “Asian Tribune” that she pretended to be tougher than Ranil Wickremesinghe in dealing with the LTTE purely to grab the Ministry of Defence from him. However, some say that her knees have swollen after genuflecting to the Tigers at each turn since then, he said cynically.

Here is the full text of the Norwegian statement:

The Royal Norwegian Government is deeply concerned by the continuing violence in Sri Lanka over the past months, which undermines the Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

As facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government has sought for the past three weeks to convene a meeting between the parties, at their request, to discuss implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement. We regret to conclude that the parties have not reached agreement on the venue for such a meeting at this juncture.

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