Norwegian, Japanese peace facilitators arrive in Colombo

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 May 2003, 11:50 GMT]
Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Vidar Helgessen with his special emissary Mr. Erik Solheim and Japanese special peace envoy Mr.Yasushi Akashi arrived Colombo Sunday early morning separately to initiate talks with the leadership of the United National Front (UNF) government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the resumption of temporarily stalled peace process, political sources said.

The seventh round of peace talks between the government and the LTTE scheduled from April 29 to May 2 did not take place due to the decision of the LTTE that it would not participate in the peace talks for the time being until decisions arrived at peace negotiations held earlier are implemented.

Talks which are scheduled to be held this week by the Norwegian facilitators and Japanese special peace envoy separately with the leaders of government and the LTTE in Colombo and Vanni are considered vital as a prelude to proposed Aid Donors Summit fixed for the first week in Japan, according some political analysts.

Meanwhile Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr.Jan Petersen is expected to arrive in Colombo on May 15 to hold discussion with government and LTTE leaders on the future talks between the GOSL and LTTE, diplomatic sources said.

The Assistant Secretary of State of the United States of America Ms Christina Rocca is also expected to arrive Colombo on May 12 on a two-day visit at the invitation of the Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, diplomatic sources said.

In the meantime Japanese special peace envoy Mr. Akashi Sunday paid a visit to Anuradhapura and held talks with leading Buddhist leaders there regarding the current political situation, sources said.

In another development, the Japanese special envoy Mr.Yasushi Akashi is likely to visit Muttur and Thoppur in Trincomalee district on Tuesday to see the situation there after the recent rioting between two communities, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress sources said.

 

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