Norway’s foreign minister visits Sri Lanka to revive ties
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Norway’s foreign minister visited Sri Lanka on Thursday in a sign of reviving relations since a peace deal brokered by the Nordic country failed to end a civil war.
Borge Brende’s visit is the first by a Norwegian foreign minister to Sri Lanka since 2005, when Norway was trying to hold together a fragile cease-fire between the Sri Lankan government and the now-defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
Relations soured after the cease-fire collapsed in 2006 and Sri Lanka’s then-government accused Norway of favoring the rebels. Sri Lankan troops crushed the rebels three years later.
With the election defeat last year of Sri Lanka’s hard-line President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the new government has sought to mend relations with Western nations that had criticized Sri Lanka’s human-rights situation during and after the civil war.
Sri Lanka has told the U.N. human rights council that it would investigate war crimes allegations against government troops and Tamil rebels.
“You are coming to Sri Lanka at a time when Sri Lanka is trying to come to terms with its past and to forge ahead,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Brende after a meeting Thursday.
“The domestic mechanisms through which we are trying to address this past are in the process of being developed and the consultation process to design these mechanisms will begin next week,” he said.
Brede is also scheduled to meet President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and participate in a business forum.
Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/norways-foreign-minister-visits-sri-lanka-to-revive-ties/#FqXCqo0FJRAgbiEM.99