Sri Lanka could be heading for war: Norwegian envoy

May 27, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka could be heading back to all-out war, the top Norwegian envoy to the island warned Saturday, saying the peace process was more difficult than he had believed. Erik Solheim made the comments in New Delhi after his deputy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, met the head of the rebel Tamil Tigers political wing, S. P. Thamilselvan, in the guerrilla-held Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi.

“It is very grave. There is a major crisis looming,” Solheim told reporters in the Indian capital where he was due to brief government leaders on his latest peace mission to the neighbouring island.

“Sri Lanka is on the brink of very negative developments. There are five or 10 deaths every day,” he said. “Sri Lanka is heading for more violence or all-out war.”

After being briefed by Hanssen-Bauer on the talks with Thamilselvan, Solheim said the peace process was “maybe even more difficult” than he had believed only a day earlier.

He did not elaborate but following the meeting with Hanssen-Bauer the rebels issued a veiled threat to pull out of an unstable four-year-old ceasefire agreement if the European Union bans the group, a pro-rebel website reported.

“Liberation Tigers will