Sri Lanka steps up security ahead of Oslo talks

June 7, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka has stepped up security after bomb blasts near the capital raised fears of more attacks, police said Wednesday, as the warring parties prepared for a face-to-face meeting in Oslo. A truce was put in place in February 2002, but an upsurge in violence has claimed at least 650 lives since December last year, according to official count. The already tight security around key installations was further strengthened and the authorities have sought public cooperation to prevent bombings, a police spokesman said.

“We want the residents to help us track down any suspicious individuals,” spokesman Rienzi Perera said. “If they come across any suspicious packages and things like that we want people to evacuate the area.”

The appeal was made a day after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off two powerful Claymore mines outside a naval facility near here which wounded a driver and conductor of a bus.

The attack came ahead of a meeting Thursday in Oslo between the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to discuss the safety of Scandinavians monitoring a faltering truce in their long-running conflict.

Peace broker Norway called the two-day meeting amid fears