Feature Article

Solheim without ‘appetite’ envisages further involvement

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 January 2011, 12:19 GMT]
How could the Norwegian ‘peace’ broker Erik Solheim claim that he was not biased towards one party in the national conflict in the island of Sri Lanka, when he had approached the issue with a preconception that there had been no appetite in the world for separations, asked Stephen Pushparajah, a well-recognized Eezham Tamil in Norway, responding to Mr. Solheim’s reiteration Wednesday that there is “no international support for a separate Tamil state” and his envisagement on behalf of Norway to play a further “role as a dialogue partner both with the government and peoples of Sri Lanka, including exile communities.” It was this closed mind of the peace facilitators and the powers behind them that encouraged Rajapaksa to end the war with genocide and to continue the genocide even after the war, he further said.

Mr. Pushparajah is one of the top ten successful immigrants, recognized by the Leadership Foundation in Norway for 2010.

Meanwhile, informed diaspora circles, citing the discussions the late Mr. Thamilchelvan, LTTE’s political head had had with Norwegian peace facilitators said that there had been a hope for Sudan and Sri Lanka to progress in the same lines.

In fact, Thamilchelvan himself personally confirmed to TamilNet about this hope he had from the Norwegian peace facilitators.

Steven Pushparajah
Steven Pushparajah
Norway that was simultaneously engaged in Sudan and Sri Lanka, was biased in its ‘appetite’ only in the case of Eezham Tamils, Mr. Pushparajah now points out.

What was the reason for this bias? Was it India or was it the oil interest or was it the Muslim – Christian formula in Sudan or was it the section of individuals who because of their bias towards the LTTE tried to give an impression that Tamils in the island didn’t want separation, is a topic in discussion in the diaspora.

Immediately after the war, going against Eezham Tamil aspirations Mr. Erik Solheim came out with his theory of 'international appetite.'

There was direct and indirect discouragement for the efforts of Eezham Tamils in the free diaspora to prove their will through democratic exercises like the referenda on Vaddukkoaddai Resolution calling for independence.

Influenced by power circles in the West, some among the Eezham Tamils even discouraged a ‘yes or no’ vote in the referendum. They wanted to have something in between, a 45-degree formula as a third option.

Ballot Paper of South Sudan referendum
An opinion poll agency in Norway backed out from conducting the referendum, citing the ‘yes or no’ ballot sheet.

Now the south Sudanese are having a ‘yes or no’ vote.

Defending the Norwegian peace facilitators, some argue that the south Sudanese were sticking to the peace facilitation at all odds while the LTTE engaged in war.

Mr. Erik Solheim recently told some Tamil circles in Norway that had the LTTE surrendered thousands of lives would have been saved.

He reiterated the same point in an interview he gave Wednesday to Easwaran Rutnam and Jamila Najmuddin of News Now.lk

Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim [Photo courtesy: NRK]
“It was painful to see the last phase of the war unfold [...] It is no secret that I had hoped that LTTE would choose a different path when the outcome seemed inevitable. That was also my main advise to them,” Mr. Solheim said.

Eezham Tamils expect Mr. Solheim to answer the question why he, the other Norwegian peace facilitators and the Co-Chairs who demanded the surrender and encouraged Colombo, didn’t have the appetite to arrange an honourable third party surrender to save the lives of everyone and to focus on “dialogue and reconciliation”?

Were they all biased to that extent to preconceive what the ‘inevitable’ should be?

What happened towards the end of the war and the post-war treatment of civilians showed how ill conceived the idea of surrender to Colombo was.

Mr. Solheim immediately reacted and denied Mr. Muralitharan (Karuna) telling about Norway’s assistance to LTTE arms. But he did not come out with any denial to what Mr. Selvarasa Pathmanathan (KP) said in an interview about what kind of surrender plan endorsed by the West including Norway, EU and the USA, was rejected by Mr. Pirapaharan.

Even KP in captive conditions was able to indicate that the plan suggested to Mr. Pirapaharan involved first surrendering to Colombo without UN or third party in the scene. It also involved confinement of people, ‘negotiation’ in captivity, deportation of top leaders and charging middle level leaders and cadres in the courts of Sri Lanka.

Norwegian news agency NTB, citing Indian journalist M. R. Narayanaswamy, recently broke a story on the involvement of some Norwegian diplomats with the officials of the Indian intelligence agency RAW on the course of events in the island of Sri Lanka.

When NTB asked Mr. Narayanaswamy who were those Norwegian diplomats, he said that there were four, but refused to name them citing his obligations to the sources.

Further, speaking to the NTB in December 2010, Erik Solheim admitting Norwegian involvement with Indian National Security Advisor and Indian Foreign Ministry, didn’t want to comment on Norway’s involvement with the RAW.

Mr. Solheim now advises the diaspora to work through democratic means and “to work within the democratic system of Sri Lanka.”

Where is that democratic system in the state propped up by all of them in the island, especially as far as Eezham Tamils are concerned, the diaspora wonders, says Pushparajah, who is also involved in Norwegian right-wing politics as well as in the Norwegian Council of Eezham Tamils (NCET).

The latest news is that while candidates are afraid to contest against Colombo even in the local body elections in the Tamil country, Colombo was forcibly recruiting candidates after abducting them through the occupying military.

Speaking to some Eezham Tamils in the diaspora recently, Mr. Solheim asked where is the evidence for their accusation that Colombo is engaging in colonisation in the Tamil land.

It is with this ‘great understanding’ Mr. Solheim envisages engagement with the “exile communities”, was the comment from diaspora circles in Norway.

Solheim’s interviewer Easwaran Rutnam wrote that “exile communities” was “possibly a reference to the Tamil Diaspora or the LTTE supporters who have formed a government in exile.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Solheim’s new insinuation is not without background, say informed diplomatic circles.

Mr. Richard Armitage, who is now running a bailing out organisation, visiting SL president Rajapaksa, Mr Rajapaksa’s sudden ‘private visit’ to the USA, India pressurising the TNA to drop the North and East integration of the Tamil land in the island are all interconnected to Solheim’s insinuations, they say.

It is not without background-encouragement Colombo is engaged in terror campaign and colonisation.

Any attempt of the involved parties to deal with the state in Sri Lanka without recognizing the right to independence, sovereignty and self-determination of Eezham Tamils is not going to work in the chronic case of the island to end any conflict, political observers say, adding that the Eezham Tamil diaspora and Tamil Nadu may have to play more active roles in the coming times.

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