Norway PM to politicians: Think before you speak

The PM seemed to be referring to sometimes harsh discussions on immigration in the Parliament.

Oslo: Norway`s prime minister on Monday called on political leaders to show restraint in what they say as the country emerges from mourning the 77 victims of a bombing and youth camp massacre by an anti-Muslim extremist.

Jens Stoltenberg didn`t single out anyone but seemed to be referring to sometimes harsh discussions on immigration when he told Parliament that the July 22 attacks gave reason to reflect on "what we have thought, said and written."

"We all have something to learn from the tragedy," he told lawmakers at a ceremony honoring the victims. "We can all have a need to say `I was wrong,` and be respected for it."

That goes for politicians and newsroom editors, in everyday conversations and on the Internet, the prime minister said.

"Our promise is that we take with us the spirit of July 22 when political work resumes. We will behave with the same wisdom and respect as the Norwegian people," Stoltenberg said.

Norway`s political parties have agreed to postpone campaigning for local elections in September until mid-August, as the nation mourns the eighth people killed in the Oslo bombing and the 69 victims of the shooting spree at an annual summer retreat held by the youth wing of the prime minister`s Labor Party.

Confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik says his attacks were an attempt at Cultural Revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians that have embraced multiculturalism.

Though investigators believe the 32-year-old Norwegian acted alone, they are searching his computer and cell phone records for any signs of contact with other right-wing extremists who may have helped or influenced him, police attorney Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said.

Law enforcement in other countries are assisting Norway, including in the United States, where authorities have interviewed Breivik`s sister in Los Angeles, Kraby said.

Norwegian investigators have also spoken to Breivik`s mother, who is in shock and has not requested to see him, Kraby said.

The attacks were unprecedented in peaceful Norway. But Breivik`s anti-Muslim rants on political blogs didn`t attract much attention before the attacks, showing how common such views have become.

Norway`s Progress Party, the country`s biggest mainstream voice against immigration, has confirmed that Breivik used to be a member of the party. It strongly condemned his actions and voiced its sympathies for the Labor Party in the aftermath of the attacks.

In his manifesto, Breivik said he left the Progress Party because they were too moderate and he no longer believed in stopping immigration of Muslims by democratic means.

At the ceremony Monday, Parliament speaker Dag Terje Andersen read the names of the victims as lawmakers, Cabinet ministers, King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon stood in silence.

Stoltenberg said Aug 21 would be a national memorial day to commemorate the victims.

Bureau Report

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