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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
Attack on Sri Lankan aid office
Save the Children blast
The blast caused some damage but no injuries
By Alastair Lawson in Colombo

The Save the Children Fund in Sri Lanka says that a hand grenade was thrown into its office compound in Colombo early on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the aid agency said that because the grenade exploded near a tree it caused some damage, but no injuries.

The attack has been linked by commentators to the resentment felt by some in Sri Lanka to Oslo's ongoing mediation efforts.

Norway has its own office within the SCF's compound in Colombo and along with Britain plays a prominent role in the running of the organisation.

A statement released by SCF says that Save the Children-Norway has no involvement with the initiative of the Norwegian Government to mediate in the Sri Lankan civil war.

It says that the SCF is a humanitarian organisation which strictly follows a policy of neutrality.

Norwegian effort

A spokeswoman for the Norwegian embassy in Colombo confirmed that Mr Solheim arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday and is due to meet with politicians and community leaders representing all sides in the Sri Lankan war.

Last month, an explosive device was thrown next to the embassy's precincts and caused minor damage.

The Norwegian ambassador, John Westborg, said at the time that he believed the attack was carried out because of his country's efforts to end the fighting.

The Sri Lankan police, however, issued a statement saying that they did not believe that the Norwegian embassy was the target of the attack.

'Interference'

In April, Buddhist monks staged a demonstration outside the embassy in which they burnt a Norwegian flag in protest at what they said was Oslo's interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

They accused the Norwegian Government of allowing the Tamil Tigers to raise funds in Norway.

Meanwhile, police and bomb squad officers are examining the scene of the latest explosion.

So far no-one has been blamed for the attack.

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See also:

26 Jun 00 | South Asia
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