Norwegian State Secretary Tore Hattrem arrived in Sri Lanka today on a two day visit and began meetings in Colombo.
Hattrem is meeting with the Government including Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera, opposition and others in Colombo today before heading to Jaffna tomorrow, Norway Embassy officials told the Colombo Gazette.
The purpose of the visit is to have bilateral meetings and to develop further the business cooperation between Sri Lanka and Norway. The visit follows the successful visit of Foreign Minister Børge Brende in January, the Norway Embassy said.
“We want to strengthen the political dialogue, support the Government’s policies for reform and reconciliation, promote business cooperation and support technical cooperation. It is the positive political development in Sri Lanka that makes this possible,” Hattrem said.
In Jaffna Hattrem will meet the Governor and Chief Minister of the Northern Province, and the Commander in Jaffna.
In the Northern Province, he will also make a field visit to returnees to recently released land areas in Valalai, which is part of a Norwegian supported project through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Finally, Hattrem will meet representatives for civil society and the business community.
In response to the recent flooding and landslide disaster in Sri Lanka, Hattrem announced a contribution of USD 600 000 to UNICEF for humanitarian purposes during the visit. This is in addition to Norway’s substantial regular contribution to the UN Crisis and Emergency Response Fund and the Red Cross for relief in humanitarian crises for speedy and efficient emergency response.
” My thoughts are with the people that have been affected by the recent flooding. I offer my most sincere condolences to those that have lost their loved ones,” Hattrem said. Hattrem served as Ambassador to Sri Lanka during 2007-2010. (Colombo Gazette)