Latest Norway bid to end Sri Lanka talks deadlock ends without breakthrough

Norway’s latest bid to salvage Sri Lanka’s faltering peace process ended without a breakthrough but the antagonists have pledged to continue to uphold a fragile truce, rebels and officials said Friday. Norway’s latest bid to salvage Sri Lanka’s faltering peace process ended without a breakthrough but the antagonists have pledged to continue to uphold a fragile truce, rebels and officials said Friday. Norway’s Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, who cut short his peace mission and flew to Cairo for Yasser Arafat’s funeral Friday, shuttled between the two sides with no prospect of ending a 19-month deadlock in face-to-face talks.

“High expectations, no major breakthrough,” said the LTTE’s peace secretariat website on the latest Norwegian initiative to save the troubled peace process.

The LTTE’s chief peace negotiator, Anton Balasingham, said they wanted talks to resume on the basis of their plan for self-rule and rejected Sri Lankan government demands to start parallel talks on a final settlement.

“This position of ours, we are told by the facilitators, would be conveyed to the president… and a feedback provided to us in course of time,” Balasingham was quoted as saying on the LTTE website.