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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 950

Axis of Evil: Norway-LTTE-Eritrea, and call to ‘expose double standard of the West’

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 04 September (Asiantribune.com): While the Ethiopian media highlighted the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report iterating the Eritrean government’s direct assistance to Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger rebels, Eritrean media has so far maintained a stark silence except the president of Eritrea dismissed the U.S. State Department accusation that his country is assisting terrorists in Somalia and Ethiopia as baseless.

An independent daily news media outlet in Ethiopia ‘Jimma Times’ in its September 3 edition highlighted that “reports have accumulated tying the Eritrean and Norwegian governments in the complex politics of Sri Lanka and the Horn of Africa” declaring the combination as ‘Axis of Evil’.

The ‘Jimma Times’ continues: “The LTTE were labeled a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union. But despite the assassinations and terrorist activities of the LTTE, the Norway government remains close with the LTTE organization in its secessionist objectives. The large Sri Lanka Diaspora in Norway, made of more than 13,000 Tamils, is also a big source of financial and diplomatic support to the secessionist movement.”

The popular African web site ‘Africapath’ in its September 01 edition said the reports of Eritrean government proving direct assistance to the LTTE “certainly goes along with numerous of the Eritrean government in the horn of Africa, including Eritrean assistance for militants in Sudan, terrorist groups in Somalia, anti-government rebels in Djibouti and secessionist movements and terrorist organizations in the borders of Ethiopia.”

The web site encourages Ethiopia, Somalia and Sri Lanka “to take matters into their own hand and expose the double standards of the West”: “As widely reported, the Eritrean government continued to support rebels in Ethiopian borders as well as the ICU militants against the Somalia transitional government. But the real issue for the West was that some individuals in the ICU were responsible for US embassy bombings in east Africa. Thus it was not a surprise that the United States warned the Eritrean government about its financial and arm support for anti-government ICU fighters in Mogadishu. This showed that the United States is concerned about terrorism only when its interests are affected. It is important for all those nations, like Ethiopia, Somalia and Sri Lanka (who are facing violent secessionist movements and terrorist organizations armed by Eritrea) to take the matters into their own hands and expose the double standards of the west.”

The African website gives this serious warning to several nations including Sri Lanka:

”When the American pressure arrived two weeks ago, the Eritrean government discarded one of its dozens of foreign militant allies by releasing the Easter Sudanese rebels. The Eritrean government put out the fire it ignited in eastern Sudan and wanted to get a trophy for it. A rogue government like the current Eritrean government will keep arming, financing and training the other 15 plus secessionist & terrorist organizations from Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sri Lanka as long as these nations lethargically wait & beg for western attention of their misery.

The degree of difficulty all of these nations face regarding their security, because of the Eritrean government, will be reflected by many issues inside these countries terrorized by the Eritrean government.

These issues include plummeting economic performance and deteriorating political instability because all related domestic groups (which the Eritrean government arms & finances and remains ready to arm more) will naturally take the offer and prefer a violent path to solve their grievances instead of choosing a peaceful path.”

The analysis Ethiopia’s ‘Jimma Times’ gives about the situation in Sri Lanka and Norway’s role is: “The Eritrean government, made up of the former secessionist EPLF rebels that separated Eritrea from Ethiopia, was also accused by the United States of backing the insurgency in Somalia and accused by the Ethiopian government for backing the OLF & ONLF separatist insurgency.

”After long discussion to reduce concerns with Norway’s influence in the region, the Ethiopian government kicked out six Norwegian diplomats this week. Norway, which has long been known to support the OLF organization, itself seceded from Sweden and declared independence in 1905.

”Even aid work and western aid organizations, especially Scandinavian, have become involved in these complex situations. The Sri Lanka government has often accused aid workers for bias and assisting the separatist population, and remains suspicious of assistant aid workers from the same ethnic group as rebels. Similarly, the Ethiopian government has kicked out a couple of aid organizations accusing them of bias and collaborating with pro-rebel individuals.”

In Asmara, the Eritrean capital, President Isaias Afwerki dismissed as baseless anti-Eritrea accusation by US State Department officials, and underscored that it emanates from the failed strategy they pursued in Somalia.

The President made the remarks in an interview with Aljezeera TV August 31. He pointed out that so-called talks that “Eritrea is supporting the Islamic Courts Union” are astonishing when viewed against claims that “the ICU has been destroyed and wiped out.” President Isaias further indicated that the US State Department officials are resorting to such unfounded allegation and defamation in a futile bid to justify the mistakes they had committed.

Pointing out that the situations in Somalia is the outcome of US open invasion and intervention through its mercenary agent, the Ethiopian regime, he underscored that if the desired target is to enable the Somali people reconstitute their country, the UN should play its due role.

As of today, 04 September, the Eritrean president has maintained a stark silence about the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report that his country is giving direct assistance to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers.

- Asian Tribune -

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