2ND LEAD (CORRECTION)

Colombo tense, Norwegian Ambassador to visit Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 June 2005, 02:44 GMT]
Security has been tightened in Colombo as the city remained tensed amidst anticipated signing of aid deal Friday, sources in Colombo said. While Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge kept the details of Friday's planned events private, informed sources said, Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr Hans Brattskar, is expected to travel to Kilinochchi to meet Mr S P Thamilchelvan, Political Head of the Liberation Tigers at 12.45 pm, indicating that signing of the aid deal is imminent. The sources in Colombo added that a "Deputy-level" official in the Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation will sign the agreement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka.

Protestors on the streets of Colombo
The security forces on the one km main road from Battaramulla junction to the parliamentary complex have set up two checkpoints- one at Battaramulla junction and the second at Jayanthipura junction, which is about five hundred meters away from the parliamentary complex, sources said.

Sri Lanka Navy patrol crafts are also seen deployed in the Diyawanna Oya surrounding the parliamentary complex, sources said.

The security of the city of Colombo has been strengthened to quell any civil unrest, Mr.Chandra Fernando, Inspector General of Police told media persons Friday morning.

Government officials were not available for any direct comments in Colombo and Cell phones of many officials and key persons in Colombo remained switched off Friday morning, sources said.

After an unscheduled visit to Kilinochchi by members of the Norwegian delegation to meet LTTE leaders Thursday , the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Helegesen met with the Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Mr Mahinda Rajapakshe in Colombo the same afternoon. A scheduled meeting with Ms Kumaratunge did not take place Thursday, diplomatic sources said.

Mr Helegesen earlier met Mrs. Ferial Ashraff, parliamentarian and the leader of the National Unity Alliance, and had assured that Muslims would not be sidelined in the post-tsunami reconstruction process.

 

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