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What of Eric Solheim now, ladies and gentlemen?

"Norway’s complicity in the Eelam Project and the terrorism that was its unmistakable signature was even at that time obvious and well documented. Norway’s role as facilitator was therefore nothing less than a facilitation of terrorism and the division of the country."
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By Malinda Seneviratne

(September 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A few years ago, when I was working in a Sunday newspaper, I was tasked among other things, to write the editorial. One Saturday a strange thing happened. I usually wrote the editorial on Saturday morning. I start on my weekly political column around 11.00 am and by about 1.00 pm I am done for the day. I then hang around until the city edition is all done, joking around with colleagues. That Saturday, the December 23, 2006, I had to go to Kegalle, so I left around 5.00 pm.

I didn’t get a chance to read the newspaper on Sunday, but when I found a copy on Monday, Christmas Day, I was surprised to find that my editorial missing. I still remember the title of the piece: ‘What now on Norway, Mr.

President?’ This was after Eric Solheim and other top Norwegians involved in the so-called ‘peace process’ in Sri Lanka had made tendentious comments at the funeral of LTTE ideologue, Anton Balasingham. Those remarks clearly demonstrated Norway’s partiality to the LTTE. For the record the editorial that was carried was essentially a vilification of the Rajapaksa regime that this newspaper had by that time made its signature theme.

My relations with the editor were strained even then, so I called the CEO of the company and asked him what happened. He told me later that the position of the editor was ‘we are for negotiations’. Well, the newspaper had a tag, ‘fiercely independent’. More than this, there was a scandalous lack of courtesy on the part of the editor. As the final gatekeeper he had the right to reject my copy, but not only did he not tell me, but got someone else to write something else while I was still in office. I quit in disgust immediately.

I was reminded of this today as I read the lead story in The Island (September 28, 2009): ‘Norway, Solheim helped establish LTTE-Eritrea links for arms deals’.

Norway’s complicity in the Eelam Project and the terrorism that was its unmistakable signature was even at that time obvious and well documented. Norway’s role as facilitator was therefore nothing less than a facilitation of terrorism and the division of the country.

When the editor said ‘negotiation’ in real terms it meant ‘negotiating surrender to terrorism and the Eelam agenda’.

Today no one in his or her right mind would defend Norway’s role in Sri Lanka. High-ranking LTTE leaders who have been captured have squealed and this explains in part why Norway and others complicit in the LTTE agenda did their best to secure some ‘out’ for the LTTE when it became clear that the terrorists could not stop the Sri Lankan Security Forces despite all the braggadocio.

Solheim is reported to have said at one point that Mahinda Rajapaksa does not understand that Prabhakaran cannot be defeated militarily.

Later, Solheim probably realizing that he was dead wrong, tried to secure safe passage for Prabhakaran. Now, this having failed, he has gone out of his way to vilify the Rajapaksa administration calling for war-crimes probes and what not.

Quite apart from the double-standards evident in the call by certain sections of the international community for investigating Sri Lanka, today we are compelled to ask if the logic behind these moves is to stop investigations into their own roles in supporting the LTTE. The capture of ‘KP’ seems to have irked them all. The man is reported to be spilling the beans, dropping names by the dozen, revealing links and support chains. Those who are guilty are now very likely to be sweating, even if they are in the arctic.

Norway’s love for the LTTE was essentially one that was predicated on economic interests. They were eyeing to oceanic resources of the island and of course oil.

To this end, they offered all kinds of goodies to the LTTE. According to the Island report, the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo had gone to the extent of contacting the Maldivian Government in May 2007 when the Coast Guard of that country had intercepted a trawler carrying cargo for the LTTE, to see its release. As for Solheim, the chief ‘facilitator’, he stands accused of being directly involved in establishing Eritrean-LTTE links.

So much for ‘neutrality’ and so much for their ‘desire to see a resolution of the conflict’! Bunkum!

I would re-formulate the question that I asked in the killed-editorial. What now of Norway, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe? In fact I could ask the same question from Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was instrumental in getting Eric Solheim and other Norwegians to poke their dirty and greedy fingers in the conflict. It could be asked of all those who howled in protest when in January 2008 Mahinda Rajapaksa officially abrogated the Ceasefire Agreement.

It could be asked of all ‘journalists’ and ‘media rights advocates’ who turned a blind eye to the machinations that made up the days and nights of the likes of Eric Solheim. What now, ladies and gentlemen? How about some confessions, what do you say?

-Sri Lanka Guardian

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