Norway "did not seek permission"
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 March 2000, 17:43 GMT]
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry today confirmed that Anton Balasingham, the Liberation Tigers' theoretician and political advisor had undergone treatment in Oslo and refuted comments by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunge that Norway had sought her permission first.
"The decision to bring Anton Balasingham to Norway for surgery was taken by Norway on its own, on a purely humanitarian basis," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ingvard Havnen told TamilNet.
"Both parties were informed of the decision", he said.
There was no link between Norway's humanitarian assistance to Mr. Balasingham and the Scandianavian country's efforts to bring about negotiations between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government, he added.
When asked if Mr. Balasingham was still in Norway, Mr. Havnen declined to comment.
Sri Lanka President Kumaratunge in a recent interview told the Far East Economic Review "[The Tigers] have got Norway to take Anton Balasingham to Norway with my permission."
"Even after I said yes to his being operated on, they [Tigers] bombed me and wanted to kill me . . . Norway delayed taking him [Balasingham] and helping him because they were naturally very angry -not that they have any special friendship for me, but they didn't believe in this kind of thing," she said.
"And then they asked again, "Do you want us to take him?" And I said, "Yes, do that.", President Kumaratunge told the Review.