Peacebroker Norway concerned about Sri Lanka violence

KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, May 23, 2006 (AFP) – Peacebroker Norway is “extremely concerned” about the high level of violence in Sri Lanka, Oslo’s ambassador said Tuesday after meeting a top Tamil guerrilla leader. “We are extremely concerned and I think it’s very important that international and diplomatic attention continues to be on the high levels of violence,” ambassador Hans Brattskar said.

Amid fears of a return to full-scale war, he held discussions with S. P. Thamilselvan, the head of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), for over an hour in this rebel-held town, 330 kilometres (205 miles) north of Colombo.

Brattskar said he had also met with officials in Colombo and had travelled Monday to northern Jaffna peninsula where he held talks with military officials, non-governmental organizations and the families of victims.

“We of course urged all sides to do what they can to show restraint and to reduce the level of violence and to work very actively to find ways to reduce the level of violence that we have seen in April and May,” he told reporters in this northern “capital” of rebel-held territory.

Violence that has escalated since December has left a Norwegian-brok