Sri Lanka peace mediators to meet in Washington

WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (AFP) – Major donors engaged in efforts to end Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war will meet Tuesday in Washington in the latest attempt to revive peace talks between the government and Tamil rebels, the State Department announced Monday. The Co-Chairs, the sole international mechanism focused on the peace process in Sri Lanka, last met in Brussels on September 12. The four-party group, known as the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference on Sri Lanka, will discuss ongoing fighting in Sri Lanka and strategies for encouraging the two sides to return to negotiations, the department said in a statement.

Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns will host the meeting that will include his counterparts from the European Union, Norway and Japan.

More than 3,300 people have been killed in the past year in fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tigers, despite a truce in place since February 2002.

Norway has been pushing to revive peace talks between the two sides, but the latest effort collapsed last month, sparking fears the country could slip back to the full-scale civil war which cost more than 60,000 lives since 1972.

Participating in Tuesday’s meeting will be US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central A