Sri Lanka

Annual political consultations between Sri Lanka and Norway

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THE ROYAL NORWEGIAN EMBASSY
PRESS RELEASE

ANNUAL POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA AND NORWAY 17-20 February 2003

The annual political consultations between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Norway will take place in Colombo 17-20 February. Hon. Olav Kjørven, Deputy Minister of Development Co-operation, will head the Norwegian delegation. In addition the delegation will comprise of H.E Ambassador Jon Westborg and representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NORAD. Hon Minister Milinda Moragoda and Mr. Charita Ratwatte will head the GOSL delegation.

The purpose of this visit is to continue the dialog with the GOSL on important co-operation programs between our two countries. Norway and Sri Lanka have a long-standing relationship in the field of development co-operation. Norway has assisted Sri Lanka for more than twenty years and has annually funded Sri Lanka with around usd 11 million. More than 75% of this assistance has been channelled through the Government and local authorities to the development of the southern part of the country.

The first session of the political consultations will focus on Economic Development for Employment. Industrial development, investment policies, trade employment and labour issues will be central elements during these talks. The topic for the second session will be "Preparing for and sustaining peace" and will include discussions on immediate humanitarian needs, rehabilitation, post conflict reconstruction and development.

On Wednesday 19 February Deputy Minister Kjørven is planning to visit Sri Lankan Norwegian joint ventures. Mr. Kjørven will travel to Galle to visit a Solid Waste Management Project supported by NORAD. He will also meet with the Governor of the Southern Province and have a discussion on private sector development with five district chambers of commerce. Deputy Minister Kjørven will during his visit also meet with international organisations and representatives from the Sri Lankan civil society.