The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 17, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 42

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Headline Summary
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Japanese envoy to meet with Tamil Tiger leadership; peace talks likely in Norway
Associated Press, Mon May 17, 2004 07:00 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Japanese envoy will meet with Tamil Tiger leaders in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi on Tuesday to discuss Sri Lanka - 's efforts to end a two decade civil war, an embassy official said. Yasushi Akashi's visit comes as Sri Lanka - waits for Norwegian peace brokers to announce a date and place for the resumption of talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam.

Talks will be held somewhere in Europe, senior government and rebel officials involved in the peace process said on condition of anonymity. Oslo, Norway, was the most likely venue, they said.

Before peace negotiations stalled one year ago, discussions were held in Thailand, Germany, Japan and Norway.

Japanese Embassy official Hideaki Matsuo said Akashi was scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and other Sri Lankan officials Monday.

He said Akashi would then travel to Kilinochchi for a meeting Tuesday with the rebel leadership, and later hold talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse in the capital, Colombo.

Last year, Japan hosted a donor conference in Tokyo to secure aid to help rebuild the war-torn nation. It also made the largest commitment of US$1 billion out of a total of US$4.5 billion pledged by about 70 countries and financial institutions.

However, the donors withheld the money after the Tamil Tigers withdrew from the peace talks in April 2003, as the pledges were linked to progress in the peace efforts.

A power struggle in November between Kumaratunga and her rival, then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who signed the cease-fire, further delayed the flow of aid.

The struggle led to the dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections that Kumaratunga's political alliance won.
Published: Mon May 17 11:47:06 EDT 2004

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Japanese envoy to meet with Tamil Tiger leadership  - Associated Press

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Sonia factor in Lanka peace talks
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