‘Talk to Tigers,’ Rice tells Samaraweera

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 September 2006, 00:19 GMT]
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, to make a concerted effort in planned peace talks with the Tamil Tigers, AFP quoted a senior US official as saying Saturday.

Secretary Rice and Samaraweera
Secretary Rice and Samaraweera (Photo: The Island)
Meeting with Mr. Samaweera on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Ms. Rice voiced strong support for Norwegian-mediated peace efforts in Sri Lanka.

"She urged the government to engage in a focused, concerted way with the Norwegians as they try to start another round of negotiations with the LTTE," the senior US official told AFP on condition he not be identified.

Rice and Samaweera also discussed human rights issues, and notably the massacre last month of 17 aid workers from the French aid group Action Contre la Faim, AFP reported.

The internationally-staffed Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission blamed the killings on Sri Lankan security forces.

Ms. Rice told Samaweera she was "encouraged" by the government's decision to let international investigators join a probe into the incident, the official also said.

 

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