Norway blames Tamil Tigers for failure of talks
The LTTE and Sri Lankan representatives were to hold direct talks for the first time since February at the invitation of Norway.india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 11:25 IST
Norway officially declared talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers to improve the security of foreign ceasefire observers a failure, blaming the rebels for the breakdown.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Sri Lankan representatives were to hold direct talks for the first time since February at the invitation of the Norwegian government, but the meeting, scheduled to last two days, ended early when the hosts failed to orchestrate a face-to-face encounter.
"After having accepted the Norwegian invitation and after having arrived in Norway, the LTTE raised objections to the previously communicated intentions and modalities for the meeting", Norway's minister for international development, Erik Solheim, told reporters on Thursday.
The Scandinavian country had called for the talks to improve security for the 60-member Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which is monitoring a fragile truce in Sri Lanka's long-running civil war.
The failure of talks was described as "serious" by the head of the monitoring mission, Ulf Henricsson.
Henricsson told the agency that the LTTE was infuriated by a recent European Union decision to put the movement on its list of terror organisations and would not accept members from EU states in the monitoring mission.
"That would take away two thirds of the Nordic mission. Both the LTTE and the government need us.