Norwegian Deputy FM in Colombo

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 May 2002, 18:09 GMT]
Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgessen, arrived Colombo Saturday early morning ahead of meetings with Sri Lankan government and opposition officials. He was accompanied by Mr. Jon Westborg, Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka who also returned after two weeks in Oslo, sources said.

Mr. Helgessen brief the government about the talks he had with the Liberation Tigers’ Chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr.Anton Balasingham whom he met in London Wednesday.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe left Colombo Saturday morning on a three country tour. He is expected to have crucial talks with the leaders of the United Kingdom, India and European Union in Brussels about the Norwegian peace initiative.

Political sources expect that Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr.Helgessen will meet Sri Lanka's Prime Minister abroad.

In the meantime Swedish government's Asia Department Chief Mr Borje Ljunggren is in Colombo having talks with leaders of various political parties regarding the peace process. Mr.R.Sampanthan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian met him on Friday and spoke in detail about the present political situation in the north and east.

He reiterated the TNA stand on key issues, expressing support for the lifting of the ban on LTTE, setting up of an interim administration for the northeast at the earliest and the full implementation of the ceaaefire agreement signed by the government and the LTTE.

"It is the duty of the international community to assist the Liberation Tigers in achieving the aspirations of the Tamils through peaceful means," stressed Mr.Sampanthan to the visiting Swedish diplomat.

 

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