Sri Lanka aid donors to meet in Oslo

OSLO, Apr. 27, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s main international aid donors will meet in Oslo on Friday to brainstorm on how best to provide assistance against a backdrop of renewed civil strife, the Norwegian government said Thursday. “The co-presidents of the donors conference will meet to discuss different means of furthering the peace process and insuring that the parties resume the path of negotiation,” said the spokesman for the Norwegian development aid ministry, Espen Gullikstad.

A bloody, three-decade conflict pitting Hindu separatists in the north against a government dominated by the island-nation’s Sinhalese majority has flared in recent weeks despite ongoing peace negotiations in Geneva.

The United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway jointly sponsored a conference in Tokyo in 2003 for the reconstruction and development of Sri Lanka, and have continued to meet periodically to coordinate further aid.

The long-scheduled Oslo meeting “comes at an opportune moment,” Gullikstad said.

A Tamil woman posing as an expectant mother gained entry Tuesday into the Sri Lankan capital Colombo’s Army Hospital for a weekly maternity day and blew herself up, severely wounding the army chief and killing ten others.