Norway and the LTTE

Norwegian Foreign Minister, Mr. Knut Vollebaek is supposed to come to Sri Lanka on the invitation of Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar. The president Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga in her edited version of the BBC interview in London, soon after the bomb explosion on the eighteenth of December last year, said that on a previous occasion she had requested Norway to facilitate talks between the government and the LTTE. It appears that Sri Lanka is very keen to get Norway involved in talks with the LTTE. In 1987, the then president Mr. J. R. Jayewardane invited the Indian Peace Keeping Force to come to Sri Lanka under the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement even before the public came to know of the contents of the agreement. It was during his time that the MPs "voluntarily" gave undated letters of resignation to the president. Did anybody believe then that the MPs met as a group and decided to give their letters of resignation to the president?

We all know the role played by Mr. Dixit, who later became the Indian Foreign Secretary, in getting Mr. Jayewardane to "invite" the IPKF to Sri Lanka "for a visit". Invitations are sometimes only on paper. There are occasions when the invitee gets himself/herself invited using power.

Sri Lanka is suffering not because we are a small country. We have to stomach all these insults, as our political leaders are not big. They can only terrorise, their colleagues to give in the letters of resignation, not to mention the innocent and powerless Punchisinnos and citizen Pereras, but cannot stand up to the big bullies in international politics. Why should Norway be so much interested in our problems? Why do they want the Sri Lankan government to have talks with the LTTE? In the House of Lords in Britain one of the members had requested those concerned to persuade Prabhakaran to come to the negotiating table.

Instead of helping the Sri Lankan government to defeat the LTTE militarily these western European countries want the government to agree to talks on Prabakaran's conditions. One should not forget that Prabhakaran, the LTTE and the other Tamil racist parties insist that the Thimpu conditions are non-negotiable. This means that the Sri Lankan government has to accept that the Tamils are a different nation, northern and eastern provinces are the traditional homeland of the Tamils and that the Tamils have the right of self-determination even before they come to the negotiating table.

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LTTE Terrorists - Funded by criminal activities and Western Fund Raising

Sri Lankan government has to bow down to Prabakaran's conditions merely because the leaders of both the main parties belong to the non-national forces. It is an irony that the SLFP, the party of Jathikathva in Sri Lanka is led by non-nationalists. The nationalists in the party have no say, at present. The leaders who are the products of a non-national education given by the British imperialists do not understand the history and the culture of the country. They are very often token Buddhists who do not belong to the culture of the people. Most of them are "thuppahi" in the apt terminology of Mr. Philip Gunawardane, who introduced Marxism to Sri Lanka and who was instrumental in adopting Trotskyism by the LSSP. However Mr. Philip Gunawardane who had a better theoretical knowledge of Marxism than the other leaders of the LSSP including Messrs. Leslie Gunawardane, Colvin R. de Silva and Doric de Soyza and who had an original mind even according his critics, when most of the others were mere imitators, was soon referring to the Marxist texts as "pus ke poth" (moth eaten books). The present NGO "intellectuals", are only the inheritors of the "thuppahi" culture, who can only translate the knowledge, created by their masters in the west into the "vernacular", like slaves. I am told that thuppahi is the Sinhalised version of a Portuguese word meaning translator. Incidentally these NGO's are financed by countries such as Norway.

According to the "Irida Divaina" of 13th February, Norway is of the opinion that after a cease-fire is declared by the government and the LTTE a peace keeping force similar to that of the United Nations should be sent to the north and the east to monitor any violent activities. Has the government agreed to this? We have some experience with these peacekeeping forces and Sri Lanka can do without such forces in the future. The "Irida Divaina" furthers states that Norway is already in touch with the LTTE using satellite communication. According to the Tamil Net Mr. Knut Vollebaek has already met with Anton Balasingham in London. Apart from preparing the groundwork with respect to the logistics, which one could argue is what is expected from a facilitator, (not that we agree to the concept of a facilitator) as the "Irida Divaina" goes on to reveal, Norway has interfered with our internal politics. The paper informs us that the Norwegian diplomatic sources emphasise the need of a "political solution" to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils in this country as their rights are not protected by the existing legislation. Could Mr. Knut Vollebaek, before he leaves the country, enlighten us on these aspirations and rights, as the minister G. L. Peiris and his followers have failed to do so during the last four and half years.

Norwegian embassy staff has also said that the Sinhala people are for a political solution as demonstrated by the two main parties, which agree on the need for such solution. They have also said that the opposition by the various Sinhala organisations cannot be considered as a rejection of a political solution by the Sinhala people. If the west and the NGO's are so confident that the Sinhala people are not against a "political solution" how do they account for the fact that the government has taken more than four years to introduce the draft constitution to the parliament. The west and the NGO intellectuals who conduct surveys using artificial samples asking loaded questions believe that the Sinhala people are in agreement with the political package. If we are to believe these surveys then the most widely read book in Sri Lanka is the Koran. The west and the NGO intellectuals do not understand how the mind of the Sinhala people works and neither we are going to conduct tuition classes on that subject. I have very often come across the simplistic argument that the UNP and the PA together polled some 94% of the valid vote at the last presidential elections and that means that the overwhelming majority of the Sinhala people are in agreement with some kind of political solution to the so-called problem of the Tamil people. This argument is valid only if the people who voted for the PA and the UNP had only this question in their minds when they went to the polling booths last December. Leave alone the general public. There are many MPs in the UNP as well as the PA who are not in agreement with the so-called political solution and I do not think that they voted for Mr. Harishchandra Wijetunga at the last presidential election.

Why does Norway act in this manner? Norway, which got independence from Sweden only in 1905, is obsessed with the right of self-determination for nations, a concept that was formulated for them about hundred years ago. Having got some money from petroleum and minerals in the last three decades they are acting like a new rich person who has found a cause to spend money on. Like the other western countries they are propagating their culture and are interested in destroying the indigenous cultures in the other regions. They have found only recently the "Christian zeal" of the other western European states that came to Asia and Africa in the sixteenth century and thereafter.

A special correspondent, most probably a reader from Norway, writing to the "Irida Divaina" of 13th February has many facts to reveal on Norway and the LTTE in particular and Tamil racism in general. According to him/her the LTTE and many of its front organisations have been functioning in Norway for some time. In 1993 an organisation called The All Party Solidarity Group for Sri Lanka has been formed, after Kumar Rupasinghe of the Alert organisation, who was operating from Norway, left for London. This All-Party organisation consisted of Norwegian ex MPs Mayors etal but was directed by one Pillai a Tamil from Sri Lanka. Whenever there was a military operation against the LTTE the organisation would pressurise the Norwegian government to request the Sri Lankan government to stop the operations. Then there was the infamous Oslo Peace Research Centre where Kumar Rupasinghe played an active role. This so-called peace research centre has been followed by an organisation called the Christian Michelsen Institute. In 1995, during the time the Sri Lankan forces were fighting against the LTTE in Jaffna, The All-Party Solidarity group had organised a "workshop" to create a world opinion against Sri Lanka. They had raised funds for this purpose with the help from Mr. Eaglen (I hope I have got the spelling correct), a deputy minister in Norway at that time. The organisers had not invited the Sri Lankan ambassador for the so-called workshop but had got down a Tamil lecturer, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Mr. Jehan Perera from Sri Lanka, Rudran, an LTTE leader from the USA, and another LTTE leader from Canada.

The church also had played a role in these activities in Norway with the involvement of the World Council of Churches to which the National Christian Council (NCC) in Sri Lanka headed by Rev. Kenneth Fernando is affiliated. The National Peace Council, of which Mr. Jehan Perera is the secretary, has been established by the NCC. A Christian priest by the name Devus had campaigned that the Norwegian government should take steps to pressurise the Sri Lankan government to stop military operations in Jaffna. These are only few of the involvements of the LTTE and its front organisations in Norway. A fuller account is given in the above-mentioned article in the "Irida Divaina". These criticisms on the hierarchy of the Church should not be considered as an attack on the Christians in general. The ordinary Christian, especially the Sinhala Christian has nothing to do with these activities and, in fact, I know of many Sinhala Christians who are against these members of the hierarchy but are not in a position to take any action against them.

While Norway with their newly found "Christian Zeal" is "applying" (they may use better words in the jargon of international diplomacy) pressure on the Sri Lankan government to start negotiations with the LTTE, on Prabhakaran's conditions, what are the Christian European countries doing about the IRA problem? After all the children of the same God are involved on either side. There was no talk of unconditional negotiations between the IRA and the government of Mr. Blair. The British (or the UK) government insisted that the IRA decommission the arms and now as the latter has not fulfilled that requirement the Westminster government is going to take control over the affairs in Northern Ireland. The western European Christian countries do not insist that the LTTE should give up arms but are very particular about arms when it comes to the IRA. Aren't they more concerned about a problem very close to their homes? Don't they have more sympathy towards the Catholic IRA than towards the LTTE? Or is it that the LTTE, though fighting ostensibly on behalf of the Hindu Tamils (after all that is how it is presented to the world - that the Sinhala Buddhists are denying the rights of the Tamil Hindus), a Christian organisation in disguise supported by the Church hierarchy?

Finally how does India perceive the Norwegian "facilitation"? "The Island" on the 14th of February under the headline "India rejects mediation on Kashmir" quoted the Indian Foreign Minister Mr. Jaswant Singh. He has told Reuters: " Whether it is mediation or inter-mediation or facilitation there is no possibility of that when it comes to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir". Is India happy with what is happening in Sri Lanka? The LTTE is only interested in an Eelam or a confederation that is nothing but a de facto separate state. There have been many discussions between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE and we know what the LTTE is after. Norway in their so-called facilitation is only helping the LTTE to achieve what they want. Mr. Knut Vollebaek has apparently no time to meet the Sinhala organisations. It was a mistake if some Sinhala organisations had asked for an appointment to meet him. All we have to say is that Mr. Knut Vollebaek is not welcome in Sri Lanka. He should find more time to help Britain to find a solution to the Irish problem closer to home. The only way Norway and UK can help to find peace in Sri Lanka is to follow the US lead and ban the LTTE and its fund raising activitites. No more peace talks.

LTTE activities in Norway

22 February 2000

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