"No one. May be with exception of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, but he's the only person I can mention who thought LTTE could be defeated militarily" Eric Solheim was quoted as saying in the Norwegian analysis report -'Pawns of Peace'.
"Until 2008 not a single Indian intelligence service official was confident that LTTE could be defeated militarily. Yet, M. K Narayan and other officials in contrast to their earlier perception on the Sri Lankan conflict, changed their stances and came to believe that the Sri Lankan security forces had the might to crush LTTE terrorists Solheim has further stated.
It was also note that Solheim was of the view that even the United States of America was pessimistic of a military defeat of the LTTE.
For several years, Norway was involved in efforts to contribute to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. After the military victory by the Sri Lankan army over the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in May 2009, Norway no longer had a role to play. This evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka was commissioned mainly for the purpose of informing international peace efforts.
The report evaluates Norway's role as a peace facilitator in Sri Lanka 1997 - 2009, in light of the knowledge and opportunities available at the time. This included assessing the Norwegian understanding of the conflict, its management of its different roles in the peace process, as well as relationships to
in and outside the peace process.
With the election of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was appointed Defence Secretary in November 2005.
As Secretary Defence, Mr. Rajapaksa is largely credited with masterminding the successes achieved by the Sri Lankan Military in defeating the notorious terrorist outfit LTTE and ending Sri Lanka's three decade prolonged war in May 2009.
He was also one of the top targets of the Tamil Tigers, and survived an assassination attempt in December 2006 by a LTTE terrorist suicide bomber. (Source: defence.lk)