Norwegian peace delegation arrives in Colombo

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 May 2004, 10:38 GMT]
A high level Norwegian peace delegation led by Norways's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgessen, arrived in Colombo Saturday early morning in a bid to resume the peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on an invitation extended by Sri Lanka’s President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, sources said.

Mr. Vidar Helgessen accompanied by his Foreign Secretary and Special Envoy Mr. Erik Solheim met with the Prime Minister Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse at the latter’s official residence “ Temple Trees” Saturday morning, sources said.

The discussion between Mr. Vidar Helgessen and Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse centred on resuming the peace process between the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government in power and the LTTE.

The peace talks between the then United National Front (UNF) government and the LTTE came to a halt when Norway last year withdrew from the facilitator role due to the political instability in the south following the take over of three key ministries, Defense, Media and Internal Security from the then UNF government which was voted out of power in the April 2nd general election, sources said.

Mr. Erik Solheim is expected to hold talks with the leaders of Tamil and Muslim political parties in Colombo Sunday. Later on Monday he is scheduled to leave to Kilinochchi to hold talks with the LTTE leadership, sources said.

 

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