Norway delegation visits Jaffna
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 October 2002, 09:59 GMT]
A Norwegian delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Vidar Helgesen, visited the northern Jaffna peninsula Tuesday ahead of meetings in the Vanni with the Liberation Tigers scheduled for Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
The Norwegian delegation had discussions with the Jaffna government agent, the divisional secretaries of Jaffna, the Jaffna mayor, heads of department of the Jaffna secretariat and the divisional secretaries of Jaffna before the conference.
Mr. Helgesen was accompanied by Mr. Erik Solheim, special advisor to Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lisa Michelsen Golden, advisor to the same ministry, Mr. Jon Westborg, Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Tomas Stangeland of the Norwegian embassy in Colombo and Mr. Hans Battskar, an official from Norwegian foreign ministry.
Special dignitaries protection Police officers from Oslo provided security to the delegation.
At a press conference at the Jaffna District Secretariat, Mr. Helgesen was optimistic about Oslo’s peace process in Sri Lanka, despite political turmoil in Colombo. He pointed out that eighty four percent of the people of Sri Lanka support the peace process.
He said that his delegation would discuss the setting up of the Joint Task Force for resettlement, reconstruction and development in the northeast with the Liberation Tigers in the Vanni Wednesday. The joint task force will deal with de-mining too the Norwegian minister said.