Sri Lanka asks Norway to save peace bid, as ambassador visits the north

Sri Lanka has asked Norway to keep trying to broker peace with Tamil Tiger rebels amid a recent spate of violence which has killed 29 and raised fears that the country could slip back into war. Sri Lanka has asked Norway to keep trying to broker peace with Tamil Tiger rebels amid a recent spate of violence which has killed 29 and raised fears that the country could slip back into war. The new government of President Mahinda Rajapakse — who had earlier promised to overhaul the peace bid and review the role of the Norwegians — made a U-turn and asked Oslo to stay on.

Rajapakse told Norway’s ambassador Hans Brattskar to keep up the effort even though two key allies of the government earlier insisted Norway should be expelled from the peace process.

“President Rajapakse invited the Royal Norwegian government to continue its role as facilitator to the peace process in Sri Lanka,” a government statement said.

Oslo said it would re-launch its bid to broker peace but only if certain unspecified conditions were met.

“Our initial reaction is that it is positive that we have been asked to continue our work. This is a vote of confidence,” said Erik Solheim, Norway’s international d