Friday, January 07, 2011

Sri Lanka seeks Norway's help to legalize Voice of Tigers

A top secret diplomatic cable obtained by Wikileaks and published by the Oslo-based newspaper Aftenposten makes a startling revelation that the then United National Party (UNP) government of Sri Lanka led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, had requested Norwegian assistance in the importation of radio equipment for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a bid to give legal recognition to the “Voice of Tigers”.

“Norwegian Ambassador (Jon) Westborg told us that the Sri Lankan government had specifically requested his Embassy’s assistance (for the importation of radio equipment) several months ago,” reveals the cable, dated December 20, 2002. “The Norwegians underscore that they were working to further the peace process at GSL [Government of Sri Lanka] request,” the cable further states.

“The recent import of radio equipment for the LTTE has stirred controversy, with critics asserting that the government and the Norwegian facilitators have gone too far in pleasing the Tigers. In response, the GSL says it assisted in the import of the equipment in exchange for the LTTE´s agreement to work within broadcasting regulations.”

However the Government of Norway “(GoN) only agreed to help if the equipment was provided to the (Sri Lankan) Peace Secretariat - and not directly to the LTTE,” it added. The US Embassy opined that “the incident has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.”
(R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)

Aditional story at: Asian Tribune