The Norway embassy will close down in Colombo by the end of July 2023.
“I am sad to share news of the closure of our Embassy in Colombo in July 2023 due to structural changes in the Norwegian Foreign Service,”
Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Trine Jøranli Eskedal said.
Norway’s diplomatic relations with Kosovo, Madagascar, Slovakia and Sri Lanka will be dealt with through alternative arrangements, for example responsibility for this will be given to a Norwegian embassy close by, or an ambassador based in Norway will be appointed for the country concerned.
Norway currently has 101 diplomatic and consular missions. The planned changes will mean that Norway has fewer missions abroad but retains approximately the same number of posted diplomatic staff.
Norway and Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations in 1952. The Embassy opened in 1996 and it has been very much involved in facilitating the peace process to end the thirty year civil war between the Liberation Tigers of the north and the government of Sri lanka. Many political commentators criticize that Norway was in an attempt to carve a role of itself in conflict resolution in an adventerues manner.
Norway helped broker a ceasefire agreement between the parties in 2002, which opened the way for six rounds of peace talks. Norway led the Nordic Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a civilian mission that monitored the implementation of the agreement until the Sri Lankan Government officially withdrew from the agreement in 2008.