Solheim - modern missionary rides again

The damage caused by Norway in offering a helping hand to terrorism is legendary and Norway is on the permanent suspicious list of dubious funding activities in several countries with internal conflicts. Solheim’s envisaged project of Development through Religion makes it more ambiguous.

by Gomin Dayasiri

(December 19, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Solheim is back on track, scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka in early January 2011 leading a Norwegian delegation. This is Norway and Eric Solheim’s first official visit since the defeat of the LTTE.

The visit has significance in view of Solheim’s latest project reported in the Norwegian News of 16 November 2010.

“Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim is launching the project “Religion and Development”. The aim of the new project is to learn more about the role of religion in Norway’s cooperation with poor countries. “There are many reasons why religion is important for development. Religious communities and their leaders play an important role in almost all the countries Norway cooperates with,” said Mr Solheim.”

It appears to be a tailor made policy decision ahead of Solheim’s visit in early next year.

Development will be the harmless ‘front’ Norwegians will project, to disguise themselves in Sri Lanka, offering krones to win friends in the government. Norwegians unlike any other European nation are generous in funding without attaching too many frills and capable of winning dubious associates with their funding and making them hostile to the interests of Sri Lanka. Beneath the cosmetics of development, will be the evangelical zeal of furthering religion through a maze of NGOs that will be invested with Norwegian currency to bring forth a fresh Norwegian agenda in the post LTTE period. The exercise is an emerging security threat to the nation state.

During prime LTTE days when the Vikings were facilitators, Norwegians permeated chiefly through the foreign funded NGOs. Religion will be the new turbo vehicle launched to gain respectability to enable Norwegians to penetrate deep into the social fabric of Sri Lanka. The prime target would be purchasable Buddhist monks and Buddhist organizations greedy for foreign exchange. The Norwegian package will be parceled with dressing to look too attractive to refuse both to the government and religious mercenaries.

“Fly- by-night Buddhists”

Norwegian being Lutheran adherents, Solheim’s constituency in Sri Lanka will be mainly evangelical groups more than the established Catholic and Anglican Churches. The net will be cast to attract “fly- by-night Buddhists” and “Christian evangelical groups” prepared to bend to the whims of the Norwegian embassy in their greed for the Norwegian krone.

It will ruffle many feathers among the patriotic forces, if the Lankan government shamelessly rolls the red carpet to welcome as an ‘honoured’ state guest at state expense, Solheim who has insulted the armed forces for triumphing over the LTTE.

A bitter Solheim, after the war ended, quoted in Aftenposten (the largest selling magazine in Norway) called on UN to investigate the last phase of war in Sri Lanka.

“There is overwhelming evidence of structures within the state apparatus being behind the killings” said Solheim. Responding to BBC he blamed Sri Lanka for “doing evil acts”...” More or less the same acts” [as the LTTE]! Solheim publicly welcomed Ban ki Moon’s decision to appoint a panel to hold inquiries into war crimes.

Forgetting their trumpeted norms of democracy human rights and good governance, which they spout on international platforms, the devious traps set by the Norwegians can be seen in examining the conditions in the dreaded CFA, which caused immense harm to Sri Lanka.

CFA under Solheim’s tutelage made the LTTE the sole voice of the Tamils. Other political parties were neutered and the Tigers gained monopolistic control of the Tamil people.

The CFA partitioned Sri Lanka for the first time into (a) government controlled (b) LTTE controlled areas. If the territory were held for a long period with its own infrastructure, an internationally recognized terrorist organization would have acquired a de jure status.

The Agreement required the GOSL to disarm non-LTTE Tamil paramilitary groups hostile to the LTTE leaving them at the mercy of the gun totting tigers
CFA consented to terrorist governance of the LTTE, lacking in human rights, democratic process, right of dissent and political plurality that internationally Norway campaigns but denied these rights to the Tamils.

Under CFA no political party was permitted to operate in the North and East, but permitted LTTE to establish political offices throughout the island.

Missionary activities

Norway portraits the image of model parenthood to children in distress, but made no provision for child soldiers to go home or safeguard them.

The opening of the A9 road under the CFA enabled the LTTE to collect illegal toll taxes- a virtual treasure trove and created the route for LTTE to bring their child recruits from the Peninsula to Wanni.

The damage caused by Norway in offering a helping hand to terrorism is legendary and Norway is on the permanent suspicious list of dubious funding activities in several countries with internal conflicts. Solheim’s envisaged project of Development through Religion makes it more ambiguous.

The Norwegians if they attempt to mix religion and development based on Norwegian currency, will create religious disharmony in a healthy merging culture where goodwill is fast developing through better understanding among religious groups. If a foreign power through NGOs is seen peddling religion via development it will convince many of ‘unwarranted missionary activities’ to promote an anti national agenda, more so, since the supposed offenders are the disliked Norwegians that assisted LTTE terrorism.

If Buddhists realize there is a foreign hand prodding behind evangelical groups via NGOs or the established churches realize that its flock is being poached on by foreign funds it would lead to religious disturbances. This is the bitter pill Norwegians would like Sri Lanka to gulp. It would give space through religious disharmony for the LTTE to re - enter and for the NGOs to complain of religious friction in what is now accepted as the most secure state in South Asia.

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