Historical archive

Norway wants to learn from its experience in Sri Lanka

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“We want to learn from the experience we have gained from the peace process in Sri Lanka,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim. He was at the launch of the first evaluation of Norway’s peace efforts.

“We want to learn from the experience we have gained from the peace process in Sri Lanka,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim. He was at the launch of the first evaluation of Norway’s peace efforts. 

An independent evaluation of Norway’s peace efforts in Sri Lanka was presented on Friday. Norway is given a pass mark for the work that was done, while at the same time a number of points are highlighted for Norway to learn from. Read the whole evaluation here.  

“We gained experience from the peace process in Sri Lanka that we can use in other places. In my view, Norway did a good job. We helped to bring about a ceasefire in 2002, which put an end to the fighting and saved lives. Having said that, we now need to consider if there was anything we could have done differently, and look at what we can learn from the experience. This evaluation will help us to do this,” commented Mr Solheim.  

Norway is one of the first countries to evaluate its own efforts in a peace process in another country. It was Mr Solheim who initiated the independent evaluation.  

“The responsibility for losing the peace lies with the parties to the conflict, just as they should have the credit for the several good years that followed the ceasefire. When the parties chose war, there was little Norway or other countries could do. The Sri Lankan authorities won the war. Now they need to win the peace,” said Mr Solheim. 

The work on the evaluation report has been headed by Gunnar Sørbø from the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and Jonathan Goodhand from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). It tells the story of the peace process in Sri Lanka and draws lessons from the process that can be used in other peace processes. 

Read the whole evaluation on Norad’s website.

Press Officer: Communication Adviser Ragnhild H. Simenstad, mobil 917 17 459.