Norwegian mediator puts work in Sri Lanka on hold

OSLO, Aug 1 (AFP) – A leading Norwegian mediator in the ongoing peace
process in Sri Lanka said on Monday he would put his mediation work on hold
to participate in Norway’s general election campaign next month. OSLO, Aug 1 (AFP) – A leading Norwegian mediator in the ongoing peace
process in Sri Lanka said on Monday he would put his mediation work on hold
to participate in Norway’s general election campaign next month. Erik Solheim, who headed up Norway’s Socialist Left Party between 1987
and 1997, will halt his work on the Sri Lankan peace negotiations from
Monday until after the Norwegian elections on September 12 in order to
contribute to his former party’s campaign.

This sabbatical comes at a time when a ceasefire agreed upon by the Sri
Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels in
February 2002 appears to be on shaky ground amid increased violence in the
country since February.

Tensions rose further after the Sri Lankan Supreme Court last month
decided to block a landmark aid sharing deal aimed at helping victims of
last December’s devastating tsunami, which left nearly 31,000 people dead in
the island nation and one million homeless.

The court, citing