Sri Lanka says no return to war as donors fear for peace process

Sri Lanka vowed Thursday the country would not return to war despite a deadlock in peace talks and failure to strike a deal with Tamil rebels on tsunami relief ahead of a key review of foreign aid. Sri Lanka vowed Thursday the country would not return to war despite a deadlock in peace talks and failure to strike a deal with Tamil rebels on tsunami relief ahead of a key review of foreign aid. Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said all parties in the ruling coalition as well as the main opposition were convinced that “war is not a solution.”

“Every single major party is committed to peace,” Amunugama told reporters in Colombo. “All clearly state there is no alternative to peace.”

Sri Lanka is to host a two-day meeting of international aid donors in the central town of Kandy starting Monday amid the failure so far of diplomatic efforts to break an impasse in peace talks between Colombo and Tiger rebels.

International donors had said 4.5 billion dollars in aid pledged to rebuild Sri Lanka in June 2003 was linked to progress in the Norwegian-led peace process. Peace negotiations have been on hold since April 2003.

“We’re optimistic progress can be made in the peace process,” said