Norway in fresh bid to save Sri Lanka peace process

Sri Lanka’s peacebroker Norway announced Friday a fresh bid to salvage the island’s faltering efforts to end ethnic bloodshed amid escalating violence in the island’s embattled eastern province. Sri Lanka’s peacebroker Norway announced Friday a fresh bid to salvage the island’s faltering efforts to end ethnic bloodshed amid escalating violence in the island’s embattled eastern province. Oslo’s envoy, Erik Solheim, will arrive here Sunday on his latest mission to hold talks with the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) aimed at reviving the peace process, diplomats said.

“The discussions … will encompass the possible joint-mechanism for post-tsunami reconstruction and relevant matters with regard to the peace process.” the Norwegian embassy here said.

The statement came a day after President Chandrika Kumaratunga called for a deal with the Tigers on distributing aid to tsunami survivors, saying it would set the stage for a final peace agreement to end a decades-old separatist war.

In the island’s troubled eastern region, Tiger rebels and a breakaway faction kept up tit-for-tat hit-and-run attacks, military officials said, adding heavy gunfire was hear