New Norwegian peace envoy to visit Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo,
March 17th, 2006, 11:30 am.
The newly appointed special envoy to Sri Lanka may arrive here
shortly for talks with the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels,
officials said on Friday.
Jon Hanssen-Bauer, is likely to arrive in Colombo ahead of the next round o
peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland.The visit has not been finalized as
yet but possibilities are being explored, Norwegian officials said on
condition of anonymity, ahead of an official announcement.
Both the Sri Lankan government and the guerrillas were informed about
Hanssen-Bauer's appointment on Thursday. He will supplement the task
of top peace broker Erik Solheim, who has been playing a pivotal role
in Sri Lanka's peace bid since 1998 and was instrumental in brokering
a February 2002 cease-fire agreement.
Solheim was appointed as Norway's International Development Minister
after the center-left coalition was elected to office in September.
The new envoy will also help ease Solheim's workload, even though he
will continue to lead the Norwegian peace effort in Sri Lanka, the
Hanssen-Bauer, has wide experience in peace building and was one of
the key advisor's in the Middle East peace process. He has also worked
in Haiti, China and Latin America.
He subsequently joined the Norwegian foreign ministry and has been
working on strategy related to peace building.
Hanssen-Bauer will be apart of the Norwegian team when the Sri Lankan
government and Tamil rebels meet for talks on April 19-21 in Geneva,
the officials said.
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Published: Fri Mar 17 01:22:29 EST 2006