Apr. 17 (AFP) – At least eight people were killed in a wave of blasts in Sri Lanka Monday as Tiger rebels suspended their participation in ceasefire talks, military officials said. Peace broker Norway planned to send special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer to Sri Lanka Tuesday as part of efforts to save a tottering truce and prevent the two sides slipping into full-scale hostilities, diplomatic sources said.
“We are still finalising the program and it is to do with the talks as well as the background to it,” Norwegian embassy spokesman Erik Nurnberg said, adding the envoy would be in the country until about the end of the week.
The previously unannounced move by Norway came as the latest deaths raised to 64 the number of people killed in bomb attacks in the past week in a surge of violence linked to the separatist conflict.
On Sunday night the rebels said they were suspending their participation in talks set to take place in Switzerland next week on saving a Norwegian-brokered truce in place since February 2002.
Five of those killed were soldiers who died when a Claymore landmine exploded near their truck in Vavuniya district, a military official said from the town of Vavuni