Sri Lankan president seeks consensus on talks with Tigers

Sri Lanka’s president has made a fresh attempt to reach agreement among political parties before any talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to stem the latest wave of bloodshed, his office said Tuesday. Sri Lanka’s president has made a fresh attempt to reach agreement among political parties before any talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to stem the latest wave of bloodshed, his office said Tuesday. President Mahinda Rajapakse met leaders of parties represented in parliament Monday to arrive at a common position before starting negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a statement from his office said.

“The president, in a bid to open direct negotiations with the LTTE, and to build a consensus among the political parties in the (majority Sinhalese) south for a final solution, met the representatives of all political parties yesterday,” it said.

A spokesman for Rajapakse said the multi-party gathering agreed to meet again in nine days.

“They all agreed on the need to condemn the recent spate of violence and also to work towards a peaceful settlement to the conflict,” the spokesman said.

The next meeting is expected before peace broker Norway sends International Devel