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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 80

Urgent Ceasefire Agreement talks at Katunayake...........

[b]Urgent Ceasefire Agreement talks at Katunayake International Airport and in New York -- Norway press release[/b]

From our Colombo Correspondent

[b]Colombo, 08 September, ( [/b] Norway has “determined” that the next round of talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE be held at the Colombo International Airport (Katunayake). Jan Petersen, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has also initiated “an extraordinary meeting of the Sri Lanka co-chairs (USA, European Union, Japan and Norway) in New York on 19 September.”

This “meeting will address the increasingly difficult security situation in Sri Lanka and the need to strengthen respect for the Ceasefire Agreement,” states a press release issued by the Norwegian government.

The Sri Lankan government has agreed to the proposed Airport venue. The LTTE is yet to make an announcement.

Initially, the LTTE wanted the talks to be held in Oslo, but the Sri Lankan government rejected this proposal. It insisted on talks being held in Sri Lanka. LTTE then proposed Killinochchi as the venue. This was also rejected by the government which insisted on neutral territory.

After discussing with both parties the Norwegian government states in a press release that Colombo International airport should be acceptable to both parties. Norway has argued that as the airport is in Sri Lanka this venue should be acceptable to the Government of Sri Lanka. And as the airport is used by the LTTE “for several hours” as a transit lounge for travel abroad “this venue also should be acceptable to the LTTE.” The press release adds that Norway “will shortly call a meeting of the parties at the Colombo International Airport.”

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