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

Solheim expected come out of Vanni with more demands .......

[b]Solheim expected come out of Vanni with more demands than peace [/b]

[b]Colombo, 16 January, ([/b] Erik Solheim is due in Sri Lanka on January 23 to move forward the peace process, according to a Norwegian press release.

The press release quotes him as saying: "I am deeply concerned about the recent increase in violence in Sri Lanka," said Mr Solheim. "In order to keep the violence from escalating further, it is urgent to get the two parties to sit down together to discuss how to ensure that the ceasefire agreement is observed and how the peace process can be advanced."

To succeed in this mission has talk Velupillai Prabhkaran out of the violence unleashed by him as promised in his annual speech on November 27. In his speech he said he had to postpone his war planned for 2004 due to the devastation caused by the tsunami.

Anton Balasingham is also due around the same time Solheim. Arrangements have been made to fly him to Vanni in a helicopter accompanied by a diplomat from the Norwegian Embassy and two others -- one from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the other from the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat.

Erik Solheim is scheduled to meet the Foreign Minister first on 23 January. This meeting will be followed by a meeting with the President Mahinda Rajapakse. After that he expected to meet Prabhkaran on 25.

Analysts are questioning whether Solheim can effectively put an end to the new spate of violence launched by Prabhakaran after the failure of the Ceasefire Agreement.

Solheim was mainly responsible for drafting and getting the signatures of both parties to the Oslo Ceasefire Agreement of February 2002 and the agreement which was hailed by NGOs and international community as the final answer.

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