Paying Tribute to Norwegians

by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

(July 28, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to the article the Sri Lanka Guardian editorial ‘Norway & Sri Lanka’ by I.S. Senguttuvan. It is a very touching tribute to Norwegians who are now family to Tamils.

I wrote recently ‘As per my investment in the Ceasefire aspect of the war – manifested through the agreement between the Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe and the LTTE in 2002, Norway was strongly influenced by the faith that Tamils of Northern Sri Lanka had in Norway.’

Senguttuvan also says ‘Norway’s visible engagement with the country began as far back as 1967 when a humane Nord Arne Fjortroft visited the Island. He was touched by the alienation of fisher communities in the coastal areas of Jaffna and decided to help these people. I believe he was largely responsible for CeyNor being established in the Island with funds from various temperance and social bodies in Norway – later to include State agencies. The LTTE was nowhere around then or for decades since then. Originally he helped in the development of modernizing our fishing, shrimp farming, boat building, provision of fishing nets, Ice factories etc., This later developed into a formal Norway-Sri Lankan venture at Karainagar. CeyNor’s activities were extended to Hambantota, Lunuwila, Marawila and other areas in the South as well. With the passage of time several Norwegians visited the Island – worked with and helped the fishing communities here.’

Norwegians helped Tamils raise the ethnic issue to Global level. It was natural for them to do so. The current tragedy seems to be part of the cost that Norwegians have had to pay towards freedom at Global level. Freedom, I have learnt through my own Australian experience, comes at a high price for those of us who have invested in official systems – beyond their real values. Norway is now paying similar costs. We need to consciously add our support and status to help them feel they are not alone. Those of us who feel independent, naturally add strength to the needy – through our belief in their goodness. Thank you Norway on behalf of the Tamil Community. As is my way, I have been saying Siva Puranam to free the souls towards exponential value.

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