Sri Lanka talks collapse after two day bid for peace

GENEVA, Oct 29, 2006 (AFP) – Peace talks on Sri Lanka collapsed Sunday after chief Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim said the two warring sides had failed to agree on a date for the process to resume. Solheim, Norway’s international development minister, told reporters after two-days of talks between representatives of the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Geneva that they were also unable to agree on how to tackle crucial humanitarian questions.

“No agreement was reached on humanitarian issues or on another date for talks,” Solheim said at a news conference.

However, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to a truce agreement they launched in 2002, he added.

“Both sides reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire agreement and promised not to launch any military offensives,” Solheim said.

He maintained international pressure on the two sides following a spate of violence since the last peace talks in February which has claimed about 3,000 lives and forced 200,000 to flee their homes.

“The international community has repeatedly expressed the parties to show restaint and fulfill these commitments,” he said, referring to the ceasefire.

The N