Peace envoy Erik Solheim returns as Ranil’s climate advisor

COLOMBO – Norwegian diplomat Erik Solheim, who once served as peace envoy mediating talks between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers, is back in Sri Lanka, this time appointed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe as his International Climate Advisor.

Solheim who met President Wickremesinghe in Colombo on Tuesday (11), tweeted that the president had a “great vision for green economic recovery and for Sri Lankan climate leadership”.

The former envoy said he has been appointed as the president’s International Climate Adviser along with Speaker of the Maldivian Parliament Mohamed Nasheed. It is unclear what exactly the new role will entail.

Solheim was a controversial figure in Sri Lanka during his tenure as peace negotiator during the ceasefire agreement (CFA) signed by then Prime Minister Ranil Wickrmesinghe and Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in 2002.

The CFA continued till 2006 until the resumption of hostilities between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. At the time, Solheim came under harsh criticism by nationalist parties and forces aligned with the then Rajapaksa administration, who claimed he and the West were biased against Sri Lanka.


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