Solheim, Vidar reveal all in book out on Nov. 2

Former Norwegian Development Minister and Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Erik Solheim and Vidar Helgesen, the former Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, now Minister for Europe will reveal information related to the Norwegian role in Sri Lanka.

Solheim and Vidar Helgesen are two of the key contributors to the book, authored by Mark Salter.

The author of the book notes that between 1983 and 2009 Sri Lanka was host to a bitter civil war fought between the Government and the LTTE, which sought the creation of an independent Tamil state.

The war ended violently in May 2009 with the crushing defeat of the Tamil Tigers by the Sri Lanka Army amid the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. But prior to this grim finale, for there had been hope for a peaceful end to the conflict. Beginning with a ceasefire agreement in early 2002, for almost five years a series of peace talks between the two sides, facilitated by Norway, took place in locations ranging from Thailand and Japan to Norway, Germany and Switzerland.

The book ‘To End a Civil War’ tells the story of trying to bring peace to Sri Lanka. In particular it tells the story of how a faraway European nation came to play a central role in efforts to end the long-running South Asian conflict, and what its small, dedicated team of mediators did in their untiring efforts to reach the ultimately elusive goal of a negotiated peace. In doing so the book fills a critical gap in understanding the Sri Lankan conflict. But it also illuminates in detail a much wider problem: the intense fragility that surrounds peace processes and the extraordinary lengths to which their proponents often stretch in order to secure their progress. (Colombo Gazette)

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