Norwegian ambassador meets civil leaders in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 August 2003, 11:51 GMT]
Norwegian ambassador in Colombo Mr Hans Brattskar paid his first official visit to Jaffna district Friday and held discussions with the Government Agent, members of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and representatives of non-governmental organizations in the peninsula, district secretariat sources said.

Mr. Brattskar arrived in Palaly military air base by special aircraft accompanied by his first secretary Mr.Thomas Strangeland Friday morning. The military officials received him and thereafter he proceeded to Jaffna district secretariat where he held a one to one discussion with Mr.S.Pathmanathan, Government Agent. No government officials and media persons were allowed to participate in the discussion, district secretariat sources said.

Later Mr. Brattskar addressed Jaffna journalists about his visit held at the district secretariat premises, sources said.

"This is my first visit to Jaffna district after assuming office as the envoy of my country. I have seen the devastation of the war on my way to Jaffna town from Palaly," said Mr. Brattskar.

"The aim of my Jaffna visit is to see the situation in Jaffna district and to make necessary preliminary arrangements for the proposed visit of NORAD Director to Jaffna next month," said Mr. Brattskar.

"The Government of Norway will not contribute in anyway in the consultation now being held by the LTTE leaders with their constitutional experts at Paris on the interim administrative structure proposals submitted by the Government of Sri Lanka. However our special peace envoy Mr. Erik Solheim will participate at the end of the consultation to provide necessary technical advice to the LTTE leadership. The advice provided by Mr. Erik Solheim would certainly help to take forward the peace process," said Norwegian ambassador Mr. Hans Brattskar, sources said.

The Government of Norway is contributing to the development of Sri Lanka for more than twenty-five years and it will continue its contribution, said Mr. Brattskar.

All parties concerned are determined to continue the present peace process but it is not an easy task to achieve peace. We cannot expect peace very soon, replied Mr. Brattskar in reply to a question at the press briefing, sources said.

Thereafter Mr. Brattskar held discussions with the members of the SLMM in Jaffna at the SLMM office which is located along Temple Road.

Later he met the representatives of the Jaffna District NGOs Consortium. The discussion continued for about an hour. Consortium President Mr.V.Thiayagarajah, Secretary Ms. Ponmalar Rajeswaran and several others participated. Media persons were not allowed to cover the discussion with NGOs representatives, sources said.

 

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