Accessibility links

Diplomats, Sri Lankan Rebels Meet to Save Cease-Fire

Diplomats from Asian and European nations backing Sri Lanka's peace process are heading for emergency talks with Tamil Tiger rebels in an effort to quell rising violence that threatens a cease-fire.

Officials say diplomats from Japan, Norway, and the European Union left Saturday, for the rebel-held northern town of Kilinochchi, 330 kilometers north of the capital, Colombo, for talks with Tamil political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan.

The visit follows a meeting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake held with representatives of the Asian and European nations after Friday's suspected Tamil road attack on a naval convoy. At least 13 sailors were killed in the attack.

Violence has escalated in Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil-majority northeast since rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran threatened to resume his struggle for an independent Tamil homeland if the government fails to address Tamil grievances.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.