June 24, 2007 (AFP) – Peace broker Norway is holding a crucial meeting with Sri Lanka’s top aid donors this week in a bid to halt a new wave of bloodshed, but analysts Sunday said they see little prospect of a breakthrough. The military maintained it was unsafe for diplomats to travel to the de facto mini-state run by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) because of ongoing fighting.
The formal meeting on Tuesday would follow a preparatory gathering of officials on Monday in Norway’s capital, Oslo, and explore ways of bringing the government and Tamil Tiger rebels back to peace negotiations, a Norwegian statement said.
Oslo-brokered peace talks collapsed in October last year and since then diplomatic efforts have failed to end violence in the bitter ethnic conflict which has claimed more than 60,000 lives in the past 35 years.
More than 5,000 people have died in the latest wave of fighting since December 2005 despite a truce in place since February 2002.
“The purpose of the meeting is to share information and views,” Norway’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim said in the statement.
Four “co-chairs” — Japan, the US, the European Union and Norway — would analyse the deteriorating