RealNews

Sri Lanka Talks End with no Deals

Sri Lanka’s peace negotiators officially ended four days of talks here on Friday without agreement on key human rights issues and amid reports of fresh violence at home, officials said. Representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Tamil Tigers at the Japanese-hosted talks concluded their bargaining on Thursday and went into a brief session on Friday to finalise a joint statement, officials close to the talks said. ‘This is a session where we were unable to achieve what we had set out initially,’ said government negotiator Rauf Hakeem. ‘But, we agreed to mechanisms to safeguard human rights when we meet next month.’ Norwegian peace brokers said there was no breakthrough at the latest talks, the sixth round for the two sides since their first face-to-face contact in September. ‘There is no breakthrough… but there was a lot of hard work and there will have to be many more sessions of hard work before we get to a settlement,’ said Norwegian diplomat Erik Solheim. Sri Lanka’s chief peace negotiator, Mr G. L. Peiris, said the government and the Tigers had taken up the contentious issue of power and revenue-sharing under a federal system that is to be the basis for a final settlement. Full Story

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