SL to verify Norwegian media report of embassy aiding LTTE

Sri Lanka has asked its mission in Oslo to check the veracity of a report in the Norwegian media that claimed that the embassy of Norway here had helped LTTE members escape the island.

Last Updated: May 14, 2011, 18:31 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka has asked its mission
in Oslo to check the veracity of a report in the Norwegian
media that claimed that the embassy of Norway here had helped
LTTE members escape the island.

Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten had claimed in a
report that staffers of the Norwegian embassy in Colombo have
helped around 12 such people so far.

An External Affairs Ministry spokesman here, who did
not wish to be named, said the Sri Lankan mission in Oslo had
been asked to verify the media report.

The Aftenposten report said that "staff members in the
Norwegian embassy in Colombo have helped approximately 12
people so far, purchasing flight tickets, driving some to the
airport and issuing visas at short notice both for emigrants
and those who had already escaped from Sri Lanka".

Norway facilitated peace between the Sri Lankan
government and the LTTE from the year 2000 culminating in the
February 2002 ceasefire accord between the government and the
LTTE.

Some eight rounds of face to face talks between the
LTTE and the government were held in international capitals
ranging from Bangkok to Berlin between 2002 and 2006.

The Norwegians came in for high criticism during the
process for their appeasement of the LTTE despite many
violations of the ceasefire by it.

Reacting to the Aftenposten report, Norwegian Minister
of International Development, Erik Solheim had defended the
action, saying there is a long tradition in Norway for helping
people at risk and they had a humanitarian obligation to
assist.

Solheim was the Norwegian peace envoy who brokered the
accord between the two warring sides in Sri Lanka.

PTI