Rocca to meet Solheim in Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 April 2005, 12:33 GMT]
Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State, Christina Rocca, is scheduled to meet visiting Norwegian special peace envoy, Erik Soheim, in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss issues concerning Sri Lanka's stalled peace process and the proposed Joint Mechanism for post-tsunami relief effort, diplomatic sources in Colombo said.

A Norwegian Embassy official confirmed the meeting between the two foreign dignitaries, but refused to comment anything on the substance of the meeting, which is expected to cover also the deteriorating security situation in the Eastern Batticaloa and Amparai districts.

Both Ms. Rocca and the Mr. Solheim undertook separate visits to the East Tuesday.

Ms. Rocca, who arrived in Colombo Monday night on a 2-day official visit, visited Kalmunai to survey US-funded tsunami reconstruction efforts and met with Sri Lankan Government officials in the East.

Mr. Solheim, who is on a five-day visit to Sri Lanka, met the local military and LTTE commanders in the Eastern Batticaloa district, where the clashes between the LTTE cadres and para-military cadres have escalated recently.

The proposed discussion between Rocca and Solheim comes a day after their visit to the East, where they met cross section of people to understand the ground situation.

The Scandinavian truce monitors have already confirmed to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry about the presence of armed paramilitary activists in the Eastern Batticaloa district, while urging the parties to strictly adhere to the word and spirit of the three-year long truce agreement.

The international community and the donor agencies have urged both the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE to finalize and agree to the post-tsunami Joint Mechanism, enabling international community to release the pledged aid for the affected people in the NorthEast.

 

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