Norway peace envoys meet Sri Lanka president on truce

Apr.06 (AFP) – Norway’s top peace envoys met Sri Lanka’s president Thursday, diplomats said, amid doubts about whether the next round of talks on salvaging the island’s ceasefire will go ahead. Oslo’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim and new peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer had closed-door talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse to arrange the truce negotiations slated for April 19 in Switzerland.

Officials at the president’s office said talks were underway on the peace process but declined to give details.

Hanssen-Bauer had a separate meeting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leadership in the rebel-held north on Wednesday and on Thursday he also met the country’s main Muslim leader Rauf Hakeem.

Hakeem told reporters the newly appointed envoy had a fresh approach to resolving the Tamil separatist conflict which has claimed over 60,000 lives since 1972.

“A new peace envoy has come with a clear staretgy to have a different approach in taking forward the peace process,” Hakeem said.

“He feels that it is important for the parties to move away from the contentious, acrimonious issues and explore areas where they can send positive signals to the other si