Feature Article

‘Tamils in Norway should take hint from question posed by former peace monitor’

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 October 2015, 23:56 GMT]
The judicial model being advocated by the Sri Lankan State following the UNHRC Resolution in Geneva is set to cause headache for Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as Colombo summons the former Norwegian peace envoys as witnesses in what is being interpreted largely as a domestic mechanism with international ‘assistance’, writes Christian Ranheim, a Norwegian Human Rights and Law Consultant, who was a former member of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) that monitored the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement between Colombo government and the LTTE. In a blog article on Thursday Mr Ranheim has hinted that Oslo's participation in a ‘Sri Lankan’ domestic court would be a matter of debate, if the judicial process in Colombo is not seen as a legitimate one.

Commenting, Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island said Eezham Tamils in Norway should take the clue from Mr Ranheim, especially on addressing the challenge of international actors continuing to look at the affairs of the nation of Eezham Tamils through Colombo.

Norway remained largely as a silent spectator to the genocide in 2009, which was the outcome of the peace process mediated by that country. The peace process officially lasted from 2002 to 2008. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has been calling its role as ‘facilitator’.

Apart from the mediation, the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) was also responsible for monitoring the CFA through appointing the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

An independent study on the role played by the RNG in the peace process, which was commissioned by the Foreign Ministry itself, concluded in November 2011 that the Norwegian conduct in the peace process was of a mediatory nature. The Norway report in 2011 said Oslo should have withdrawn from its roles as mediator and monitor at an earlier stage.

Christian Ranheim
Christian Ranheim served as the Head of SLMM District Office in Mannaar between August 2002 and September 2003
Christian Ranheim, in his blog piece, was comparing the differences between the Hybrid Court recommendations of the OISL and the final resolution passed at the UNHRC earlier this month, seeing the ‘virtues’ of a Hybrid model in which he has ground experience.

However, for Tamils, it is a false dichotomy, the activists for alternative politics commented.

As far as Eezham Tamils are concerned, both the OISL recommending Hybrid Court and the ‘US-Sri Lanka’ resolution promoting domestic mechanism, deprive independent international investigation on the main crime of genocide.

Even the Eezham Tamils in Norway lack articulation in addressing their State actor for its failure to call for independent international investigations including the investigation to look into the charge of genocide. They should not fail now in addressing the Colombo-centric diplomatic designs being executed by the failed peace brokers of the past, the activists in the island told TamilNet.


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