Kumaratunga requests Norway to resume facilitation
[TamilNet, Friday, 23 April 2004, 08:37 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga phoned Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik Thursday evening and requested Norway to resume its role as a third party facilitator in the peace process between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said a press release issued by the Norwegian Prime Ministers Office in Oslo Friday. Norway, however, said it would resume its role as facilitator if the LTTE also made a similar request to Oslo. Norway said it was temporarily withdrawing from Sri Lanka's peace process in November last year.
Norway said it was temporarily pulling out after President Kumaratunga took over the ministry of defence from former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government. Mr. Wickremesinghe said he could not continue talks without the defence ministry.
"I told her that Norway would be prepared to facilitate if the LTTE also makes a similar request to us to play the same role, said Bondevik" according to the Norwegian press release.
"When we receive a request from both the parties to continue our role, we would consult with the parties on how to take forward the the process. said Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik", according to the press release.