Sri Lanka accuses Tigers of ‘intransigence’

OSLO, June 12, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Monday accused the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of intransigence after the recent breakdown in talks between the two sides. The rebels on Thursday aborted a two-day meeting in Oslo with Colombo representatives arranged by Norway to discuss the safety of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) overseeing a fragile truce.

“Unfortunately it has been the intransigence of the LTTE which has resulted in this impasse,” Samaraweera told reporters in Oslo after a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

“They (the LTTE) showed their intransigence by leaving the country without actually discussing the problems at hand,” added Samaraweera, whose visit had had been planned prior to the failure of the talks.

The minister reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to the peace process but insisted that there were many complex issues to resolve.

“There are no easy answers, no shortcuts,” he said.

Samaraweera is the first Sri Lankan government minister to visit Norway since Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse took power in November.

The minister was due to meet Norway’s international development minister a