Norway said that it had conditionally agreed to resume its role as mediator between the government and armed rebels in Sri Lanka, at the request of President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
In a statement on Friday, the office of Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said it would only resume its work if the Tamil Tiger guerrilla group (LTTE) also requested its help. rn
rnNorway suspended its mediation in November due to a dispute between Kumaratunga and her prime minister at the time, Ranil Wickremesinghe. rn
rnKumaratunga, who appointed a new premier, Mahinda Rajapakse, after winning re-election last month, called Bondevik on Thursday to seek his assistance in peace talks she has restarted. rn
“I said Norway was ready to play the role of mediator as long as the LTTE also wants us to play such a role,” Bondevik replied, according to the statement. rn
Kumaratunga had previously been highly critical of Oslos mediation efforts and had on several occasions accused it of taking the Tigers side in n