Sri Lanka top donors in new efforts for peace

June 23, 2007 (AFP) – International donors will meet in Oslo next week to review Sri Lanka’s worsening bloodshed and look for a way to revive a moribund peace process. But even without international help, Sri Lanka earns 2.5 billion dollars annually from nationals employed abroad, helping to sustain high defence spending in a country where the separatist conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives in the past 35-years. A quartet of the island’s main financial backers — Japan, the US, the European Union and Norway — will analyse the deteriorating situation for two days starting Monday, officials involved in the process said.

“The meeting will be to take stock of what is going on and for the donors to examine if there is any role left for them to put the peace process back on track,” a Western diplomat said.

Retired Sri Lankan diplomat and political commentator Nanda Godage was pessimistic, saying the gathering was likely to result in the “usual expression of concern” but little else.

Defence analyst Namal Perera believes the international community has no way of convincing either the Sri Lankan government or the Tamil Tigers to re-negotiate, or honour a n