Samaraweera receives "unusually high-level" reception in Norway

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 15:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has received a high-level reception, unusual for a Foreign Minister, according to International Development Minister Erik Solheim, who said Wednesday that Norway has to maintain close relationship with the parties to the conflict if it was to achieve any progress in the peace process. Mangala Samaraweera, once an opponent of Norwegian facilitation in Sri Lanka, was received by His Majesty King Harald V while Norwegian Tamil activists protested outside the Royal Palace in Oslo.

The Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim, who is responsible for the Sri Lankan Peace Process told the Norwegian National television NRK, that His Majesty King, Prime Minister of Norway, Foreign Minister and the President of the Norwegian Stortinget (parliament), had received the Sri Lankan FM.

Solheim further told NRK that he could understood that if Tamils feel that it is unfair, but if Norway was to achieve anything meaningful, it needed to maintain close relationship with both parties.

Around 200 Norwegian Tamil activists, carrying placards accusing the "failed" Sri Lankan state for "state terror" against Tamil civililans in the NorthEast, protested against SL Minister Samaraweera.

Norwegian Tamils protested from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. outside the Royal Norwegian Palace, accusing the Sri Lankan state for the brutal violence against Tamil civilians as part of terror campaign against the Tamils.

Samaraweera's visit to the Royal Norwegian palace lasted for half an hour.

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