Spadework

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, has told the BBC that peace talks with Tamil Tigers rebels will resume before the end of July.
Rajapakse told the BBC Sinhala service that the opposition United National Party has already said that it will support the negotiations. rn

rnRajapakse was speaking after meeting the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen in Colombo. rn

rnPetersen is in Sri Lanka for talks aimed at reviving the peace process. rn

rnPetersen will travel to the rebel held northern town of Kilinochchi for a meeting with the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. rn

rnHe is also due to meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga during his visit. rn

rnNorway successfully brokered a ceasefire between the rebels and government forces in February 2002 which is still in place. rn

rnDiplomats say the foreign ministers visit underscores Norways commitment to the peace process, and bring an end to fighting that has claimed 60,000 lives. rn

rnIt follows a visit in April made the Norwegian spec