Press release on Norwegian visit

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 February 2000, 23:54 GMT]
The foreign ministries of both Sri Lanka and Norway released statements about Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek's visit to Sri Lanka yesterday. Mr Vollebaek met Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lankan opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinge and President Chandrika Kumaratunga during his one day visit.

While a number of issues were discussed, the main issue was the political situation in Sri Lanka.

Mr Vollebaek informed President Kumaratunga that Norway was willing to accept the challenging task of initiating a dialogue between the Sri Lanka Government and the Liberation Tigers, aimed at resolving the ethnic problem. Modalities for commencing direct talks were also discussed said the statement.

vollebaek-Kadir_26022000.jpg
Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr.Knut Vollebaek with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar. Photo:TamilNet
Minister Kadirgamar, welcoming the visiting Foreign said "this was not an ordinary visit" and that it marks "a historic juncture in bilateral relations". Minister Kadirgamar hoped that the important meetings that were to be held during this visit would pave the way to bring peace to Sri Lanka.

The Norwegian Minister responding, said that he was pleased to be visiting Sri Lanka with whom his country has had close relations for many years, as an important partner in development co-operation. He noted that his first visit to Sri Lanka was in 1997 and regretted that Sri Lanka had not been able to develop to the extent it was expected to at the time.

"The conflict in Sri Lanka can only be solved by political means," Foreign Minister Vollebaek said. "A basis for a dialogue must be established between the parties."

"Upon a request from the president and following a wish from the LTTE, I have today informed the President that Norway is willing to accept the challenging task of trying to bring the parties together in such a dialogue. We have also discussed modalities for commencing direct talks", Foreign minister Volleback said in a statement following his meeting with the President.

"This places a heavy responsibility on the parties themselves. I am encouraged by the expressed willingness to seek a political solution. However, this will take time. It will be difficult. It will require courage and sacrifices and it will require the necessary political will from the parties" said Mr Volleback.

Mr Vollebaek has previously met Mr Anton Balasingham, political advisor and theoretician to the Liberation Tigers.


Related Articles:
16.02.00   Vollebaek meets Wickremasinghe
16.02.00   Norwegian Foreign Minister arrives in Colombo

 

Latest 15 Reports
21.10.19 23:24  
SL Navy silently extends occupation of coastal lands at Kirimichchai in Batticaloa
20.10.19 23:58   Photo
Sinhala supporters of Gotabhaya encroach into pasturelands in Batticaloa
19.10.19 23:31  
Pentagon steps up maritime defence trade with India, UK seeks IOR opportunities
18.10.19 23:43   Photo
Monk backing Gotabhaya wants Tamil owners to stay away from their lands in interior Batticaloa
17.10.19 19:14   Photo
SL Police resorts to violence in grabbing lands of Tamil fishers in Batticaloa North
16.10.19 23:19   Photo
Chennai Connect and Eezham Tamils reminding Tamil Nadu to assert Tamil geopolitics
15.10.19 23:50  
Colombo destroys dairy-farming economy of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=4685