Norway offers help to revive Sri Lanka peace bid

COLOMBO, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) – Norway’s top peace broker in Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, Thursday offered to go the extra mile to revive the stalled process on the eve of the fifth anniversary of a moribund truce. Solheim, who is also Norway’s international development minister, expressed the hope that Sri Lanka’s government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), would recognise the need to implement the truce.

“It is my strong hope that both parties will recognise the need to secure the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement as a first step toward reaching a political solution,” Solheim said in a statement sent here.

He said Norway remained in regular contact with the Colombo government and the LTTE despite the failure of the last meeting between the warring parties in October.

“Norway is willing to go the extra mile to assist their peace endeavours at their request,” Solheim said. “As soon as the parties renew their peace efforts, we will be ready to do all we can to help.”

Solheim’s statement came a day after Norway’s ambassador here, Hans Brattskar, called for a fresh commitment from the two sides to maintain the peace brokering efforts.

Brattskar said neither Colombo