Nordic Battles

Norway is seeking to jumpstart Sri Lankas stalled peace talks, but faces a challenge to bridge a “gulf of confidence” between the new government and Tamil rebels, diplomats said Wednesday.
Norways foreign minister Jan Petersen is to arrive here this weekend for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and top Tamil Tiger rebel Velupillai Prabhakaran to discuss resuming negotiations.rn

rn “The first thing is to help build confidence between the two sides as they did with the previous government,” a diplomatic source close to the peace process said. “The Norwegians will have to start all over again.”rn

rn The government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power in elections last month promising a review of Norways role after accusing Oslo of favouring the Tigers, whose decades-old struggle for an independent homeland has cost over 60,000 lives.rn

rn Official sources said there had been no discussion about pre-election statements by Kumaratungas Freedom Alliance that includes a Marxis