Norway is lucky that the so-called global alliance against terror-read the US and its allies-has double standards on terrorism and is after only Islamic terrorists who pose a threat to western interests. Else, Oslo would have been one of its targets for being a safe haven for a m lange of terrorist groups responsible for crimes against humanity. One of the Norwegian Ministers has been openly advocating the LTTE`s cause. Erik Solheim is his name.
Norway takes pride in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize and claims to be engaged in peace building across the globe. But, in reality, it is no better than those countries which stand accused of sponsoring terrorism, if its support for the LTTE is anything to go by.
That Norway assisted Prabhakaran and his killing machine in gaining international recognition remember Solheim had the temerity to call the late spokesman for the LTTE terrorist Anton Balasingham `His Excellency` at the inauguration of the Sattahip round of peace talks in 2002 and raising funds for war is only too well known.
It is a criminal offence anywhere in the world to aid and abet an organisation committing massacres, extortion, drug trafficking, gun running, child recruitment and kidnapping. The LTTE has committed all these crimes, as is well known. If any documentary proof is needed in this regard, one could always turn to the US State Department dossiers on the LTTE. As such, the blame for LTTE`s crimes must be apportioned to Norway, which has been supporting that organisation to the hilt. How would the US or the UK have reacted if a smaller country in Asia or Africa had sponsored Al Qaeda in a similar manner? And, the clean Norwegians pontificating to the rest of the world about the virtues of peace making, good governance etc have blood on their liberal hands!
Sri Lanka was lucky that the Norwegian-crafted ceasefire came a cropper and Norway ceased to be the facilitator. Else, by now Prabhakaran, whom Balasingham, at a press conference at Kilinochchi in April 2002, audaciously called both the Prime Minister and President of Eelam, would have realised his dream. There is reason to believe that the LTTE would not have been able to fight the so-called Eelam War IV so fiercely and not so much of blood would have been shed, but for Norway`s help.
The US, which is going hell for leather to press war crimes charges against Sri Lanka, ought to take serious note of the criminal complicity of Norway, a fellow member of the Tokyo Co-Chairs. There is a question that needs to be posed to the Obama administration obviously misled by some former American envoys with an axe to grind with the present government of Sri Lanka: There are two countries, one has defeated the world`s most ruthless terrorist organisation proscribed by the US for its crimes, and the other has sponsored the same outfit responsible for crimes against civilians, political leaders and the security forces of a UN member state of the two, which one deserves to be punished?
Sri Lanka, which is currently investigating LTTE`s arms deals, should order a separate probe into the allegations that Tigers established links with Eritrea with the help of Norway to procure weapons and it may invite some eminent persons from other countries as observers. The Tokyo Co-Chairs, too, are duty bound to conduct an independent investigation into charges against one of their members. Norway`s kneejerk reaction will be to deny those allegations and it cannot be expected to own up to them. A high level probe is called for. If Norway has nothing to hide, it must ask for an investigation and clear its name.