Ex-convict causing trouble
Convicted murderer Falk Rune Rovik is giving Minister of International Development and peace-broker Erik Solheim serious headaches with troubling accusations in Sri Lanka.
Minister of International Development Erik Solheim has a new headache from the conflict in Sri Lanka.
Norway's Foreign Ministry (UD) is now actively fighting Rovik's claims that Norway is financing terrorism in a country where its long-term peace efforts have been controversial.
In an open letter to one of Sri Lanka's biggest newspapers, The Sunday Times, the UD countered Rovik's claims that Norway finances terrorism and trains soldiers from the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), newspaper Dagbladet reports.
The letter is a reply to one from Rovik, where he claimed that LTTE members had stolen Norwegian passports and sold them on to an Al Qaida group. On Friday Rovik is opening a seminar entitled 'Norwegian support to the LTTE terrorists'.
The Foreign Ministry now fears that Rovik's campaign can endanger Norwegian lives in Sri Lanka, newspaper VG reports. UD sources told VG that Rovik has a ready-made public for such claims and that attacks on Norwegian aid workers in the area may result.
On his web site Rovik has posted a video of LTTE members visiting Camp Rena, a state-of-the-art Norwegian military installation, and claims it proves that Norway is providing the Tamil Tigers training in underwater and armored vehicle operations.
'His campaign is deeply immoral and irresponsible, and is both destructive for the peace process and a significant safety risk for Norwegian citizens in Sri Lanka,' a UD source told VG.
Rovik shot and killed the owner of an Oslo restaurant in 1997 but was ruled insane and sentenced to 10 years preventive detention. He was declared healthy in 1998 and released.
The Tigers began fighting in 1983 to carve out a separate state for minority ethnic Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. Nearly 65,000 died before Norway brokered a cease-fire in February 2002. Norway moderated six rounds of peace talks until they stalled in April 2003.