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Kumaratunga refused to meet Solheim

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga refused Tuesday to meet with the Norwegian peace negotiator Erik Solheim.

The attempts to get the peace talks between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government back on track may be postponed once again after President Kumaratunga did not have time to meet with Solheim Tuesday.

«It was not a planned meeting,» said one of Kumaratunga’s assistants to Reuters. «It was not noted in her almanac.»

Representatives from the Norwegian embassy had earlier stated that Solheim was going to meet with Kumaratunga Tuesday. According to the plan, Solheim was going to bring the government’s requirements to resume the talks to LTTE.

Norway negotiated a cease-fire in Sri Lanka in February 2002, which provided the country its longest peace period since the civil war erupted in 1983, and is now trying to find a date to resume talk after the negotiations collapsed in April of last year.

Norwegian negotiators have had several meetings with the parties recently, and two weeks ago LTTE’s head negotiator informed that Norway will announce how and when the talks can be resumed «in a day or two,» but no statements have been issued by Norway yet. This has contributed to speculations about new disagreements between the parties.

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