Protest held against disappearance of Norwegian Tamil

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 01:02 GMT]
Over 200 Norwegian Tamils demonstrated in front of Norway Foreign Ministry in Oslo Monday between 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m, organized by Norway Tamil Sangam (Society), drawing attention to the disappearance of Sounthararajan Thambirajah, a Norwegian citizen of Tamil origin, since March 31. Tore Hatrem, Leader for Peace and Reconciliation Section of the Foreign Ministry, accompanied by Jon Hanssen Bauer, the Norwegian Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Peace Process, received the memorandum submitted by the demonstrators.

"We are already in contact with the Sri Lanka Government as well as with the local police and judiciary regarding this subject," said Mr. Tore Hartem, on receiving the memorandum.

Tore Hartem also said that the Foreign Ministry is treating the disappearance of Sounthararajan as a serious matter and has called for urgent action.

Sounthararajan , 31, had gone missing after he was checked by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) at Oamanthai check post, according to a Norwegian daily.

Sounthararajan has family members in Norway and they have been in contact with the Norwegian mission in Sri Lanka, Klassekampen, the first media to break the story, reported.

The paper, quoted Norwegian Foreign Ministry official, Kristin Melsom, as saying that the Norwegian authorities were monitoring the case closely.

However, the Embassy refused to go into details "due to the nature of the case," the paper said. The case was a "serious issue" for the Norwegian Embassy and the Embassy officials were continuously briefing the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

Sounthararajan Thambirajah who has lived in Norway for 13 years since 1993 had gone to Sri Lanka last year to get married but was trapped in Ki'linochchi as violence broke out in August 2006. Mr. Sounthararajan crossed into the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) controlled territory at the end of March this year, a Norwegian daily reported Saturday.

There is evidence of arrest by Sri Lankan authorities April 12, according to the family, the paper said.



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