Norway presses for truce talks in Lanka

Colombo, August 22:

Norway’s ambassador met with senior Sri Lankan officials today to prepare for expected high-level talks between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government in an effort to save the island’s fragile cease-fire from collapse. Hans Brattskar, a key player in the Norwegian-backed peace deal, met John Gooneratne, acting head of the government’s peace body, officials said.

The meeting was the first since Norway announced last Friday that the guerrillas were willing to hold talks to review the 2002 truce.

Chandrika’s brother new FM


The brother of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Anura Bandaranaike, was named foreign minister on Monday to replace Lakshman Kadirgamar, an official said. Bandaranaike, 56, will head the foreign ministry as well as keep his current post as minister of tourism. He has relinquished the post of minister for industry and investment and the portfolios were given to Sarath Amunugama. — AFP