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Norway’s secret letter to Prabhakaran


The confidential letter sent by the erstwhile Foreign Minister of Norway ,Jan Petersen to former Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran which was exposed by ‘Wikileaks’ had shed light on a hitherto unknown side : firstly , it proves that  the accusations levelled by the pro Tamil Tiger Diaspora  that Norway and the International community were responsible for the devastation of the Tamil Tigers are false ; and  secondly , the allegations mounted by the political groups of the south of Sri Lanka (SL) that , Norway while acting as the mediator in the peace process was secretly helping the Tamil Tigers are baseless. The former foreign Minister of Norway had addressed this confidential letter to Prabhakaran on 16th August 2005. According to the Wikileaks exposures, the former Foreign Minister and Deputy foreign Minister Helgesen had met Tamil Tiger Theoretician Anton Balasingham in London and handed over the letter on 17th August 2005 in order that it  reaches Prabhakaran via Balasingham. During that period , the Norwegian Ambassador in SL ,Hans Brattskar had informed America that the then  ruling Govt. of Chandrika Bandaranaike hadn’t any knowledge of this letter , and if the Chandrika’s Govt. gets wind of this , it would leak out to the Colombo Press , Wikileaks exposures had declared. When the Norway foreign Minister and his Deputy met Balasingham in London, they had questioned the latter about the Tamil Tiger killings and their operations in the North -East. Balasingham who had expressed concern over the killings however had been evasive on the issue of accepting responsibility for the murder of former SL foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, the WikiLeaks had stated.

The first letter sent by the Norwegian Foreign Minister to Prabhakaran clarifies many a fact . The letter is published hereunder :

Dear Mr .Prabhakaran
As I am sure you realize, the peace process is in a critical situation. The killings and counter killings over the last few months have been watched with mounting concern by Norway and international community. Along with the continued recruitment of children  to the LTTE , this has created distrust about the LTTE’s intentions as regards the peace process.

The assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has exacerbated the situation. It is not up to Norway to draw conclusions about the criminal investigations now under way in Colombo, or on any other judicial matter in relation with the killings. However public perception both in Colombo and internationally is that the LTTE is responsible. This public perception is a political reality. The LTTE needs to respond to this situation in a way that demonstrates continued commitment to the peace process.

I see it as my obligation to make clear to you the political choice now facing the LTTE. If the LTTE does not take a positive step forward at this critical juncture, the international reaction could be severe.

Against this backdrop I would ask you urgently to consider the following steps :

1.To accept the Norwegian Government’s invitation to participate in a review of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement in order to find practical ways of ensuring full compliance by both parties.

2.To establish direct communications between  the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army in the East , in order to improve security.

3.To accept without delay the Sri Lanka monitoring mission proposal for transportation of LTTE cadres
4.To collaborate in a practical way with Govt. initiatives to speed up reconstruction in the North and East. The LTTE’s continued commitment to the P -TOMs agreement is vital in this regard.

5.To take effective steps to halt killings and to cease the recruitment of underage combatants.

I trust that you appreciate the gravity of the present situation and will take steps to demonstrate to the International community that the LTTE is committed to the peace process.

Yours sincerely Jan Petersen

In accordance with the facts enumerated in this letter , Norway had  held out a warning to Prabhakaran : the warning was , if positive steps are not taken towards the peace process , the international reaction could be severe. Indeed this warning turned out to be true , for , the European union proscribed the LTTE when  Prabhakaran did not take positive steps even after this letter was received by him. This constituted a huge blow to  Prabhakaran.

It becomes crystal clear when reading this letter that Prabhakaran and the LTTE were the architects of their own misfortunes and disasters, and neither Norway nor the International community can be blamed for those debacles. Moreover, on the basis of the confidential letter and the discussions held between Norwegian foreign Minister and Balasingham , it is manifest that the charges levelled by the SL politicians of the South that Norway funded Tamil Tigers and reinforced them are without a foundation .

No matter what incriminations are heaped upon WikiLeaks, one unassailable fact stands out that it indeed helped to elucidate and enlighten on   the unknown side of the true picture.

~ ~


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