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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 73

Impunity in the Name of Peace: Norway's Appeasement strategy

[b]Impunity in the Name of Peace: Norway's Appeasement strategy claims another Victim[/b]

By Sugeeswara Senadhira, Bureau Chief, Asian Tribune, Colombo

[b] Jaffna (North Sri Lanka) 18 August, ([/b] The Jaffna University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR-J) said that Norway cannot absolve its responsibility for the brutal assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by the Tamil rebels. In a statement, the UTHR (J) has held Norway guilty of ignoring the continuous killings of opponents by the Liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The UTHR(J) urged Oslo government to be courageous enough to admit that they made wrong assessments of the ground realities and to openly declare that it is not only the ceasefire agreement (CFA) that needs reappraisal, but also that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is not an adequate mechanism for the task at hand.

“Since the beginning UTHR (J) has expressed concern over major flaws in the peace process that reward impunity, encourage the LTTE to violate the Cease-fire Agreement (CFA) and provide no meaningful checks on abuse,” the statement said.

The UTHR (J) has consistently raised questions about Norway's positioning, which has often been both politically charged and extremely soft on human rights. Accusing Norway of interference in internal affairs of Sri Lanka, the statement said, “Norway began the peace process in 2002 by quite openly sidelining President Kumaratunge in favour of her long-time political adversary, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. It showed its readiness to further interfere politically when it threatened to withdraw from the peace process over the President's takeover of ministries dealing with security in November 2003.”

It pointed out that Norway has virtually ignored the LTTE's political killings and its scandalous conscription of children. The Norwegian government even facilitated LTTE efforts to strengthen its worldwide propaganda network (and thus its control over Tamil populations) by for example, helping them to acquire transmitting equipment. Norway has facilitated travel abroad for so-called LTTE fact-finding missions, including coaxing European representatives to meet them. Norwegian lobbying of the international community has encouraged tacit support for the LTTE's methods, and diluted or obstructed many initiatives aimed at holding it to account.

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