Helgesen to visit Jaffna, Vanni, South

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 October 2002, 11:37 GMT]
A Norwegian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen will visit Sri Lanka next week and holding meetings with the government and the leadership of the Liberation Tigers. In a statement issued Friday, the Norwegian embassy in Colombo said the delegation would also meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the Parliamentary opposition, international ceasefire monitors and representatives from the civil society and the business community.

Extracts from the Embassy statement follow:

“The Norwegian Delegation will in addition to Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen, consist of Ambassador Jon Westborg and Second Secretary Tomas Stangeland from the Norwegian Embassy and Special Advisor Erik Solheim, Hans Brattskar and Advisor Lisa Golden from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Thailand talks, 18 September 2002
From Left: Prof G. L Peiris, head of the Sri Lankan government delegation, Mr. Vidar Helgesen, State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr.Anton Balasingham, the head of the LTTE delegation at the final day press briefing at Ambasssdor City Jonmtien Hotel, Thailand, 18 September 2002.
“On Monday 21 October the Delegation headed by Mr. Helgesen will have meetings with the Prime Minister, members of the Government's peace delegation, the Leader of the Opposition and representatives from the civil society and the business community. Mr. Helgesen will also meet with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).

“The Norwegian Delegation will visit Jaffna and the Vanni Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 October. In Jaffna the Delegation will meet with the Government Agent, the Mayor and representatives from the civil society. Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning Mr. Helgesen will have discussions with the leadership of LTTE in Vanni before he returns to Colombo.

“In Colombo on Wednesday the Delegation will again be meeting representatives from the Government's peace delegation. Mr. Helgesen will also be meeting H.E President Chandrika Bandanaraike Kumaratunga together with Hon. Member of Parliament Mr. Kadirgamar.

“Mr. Helgesen has previously been to several other parts the country. During his visit to Sri Lanka this time he will however be travelling to both Hambantota in the south and Jaffna in the north for the first time. He hopes this will give him an increased understanding of people's daily life and the economic situation in both the southern and the northern part of Sri Lanka.”


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