It seems that Norway has an incurable itch to interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. Two national newspapers yesterday reported on the Norwegian embassy’s failed attempt to persuade an alliance between the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Tamil National Alliance in view of the upcoming provincial council polls.
The newspaper went on to reveal that the mastermind diplomat behind the strategy was believed to have the blessings of the countries that are demanding a probe against the alleged war crime charges against the island nation.
Given the history of the Norwegian mission in Sri Lanka the news would not come as a surprise to anyone. During the time of war, in the guise of mediation it fuelled the conflict. The LTTE-sympathising Norwegian envoys tried throwing lifesavers at the LTTE leaders trapped by the Sri Lankan armed forces during the last stages of the war.
Even after the end of war, the magnanimity did not vary, so much so that Norway was the assembling place of the bruised Tigers - not Canada, even with its largest number of Tamil Diaspora. Last year, media reports revealed an attempt by a few officials in the Norway embassy to secure a safe passage for the Tigers. This however, was justified on the grounds of humanity by the embassy’s high heads and conveniently brushed under the carpet.
With or without state patronage, Norway became home for a number of post-war LTTE leaders. Out of them, Perinpanayagam Sivaparan, alias, Nediyawan, is considered to be the head of the LTTE international wing after the arrest of KP. Another Sea Tiger, Vinayakam, who was reported dead in 2009 emerged in Norway in 2010. Unlike some of its EU counterparts who blacklisted the LTTE, Norway is still a free territory for the Tigers to frequent.
With such a past record, it is clear that promoting unity was the last thing in the mind of the diplomat in question, when he urged the two political parties to form an alliance. In fact, it is high time that the Norwegian mission respects the territorial and diplomatic boundaries between the two countries. Besides, Sri Lanka has an organized political culture, which does not need external help when it comes to matters concerning its citizens. It would be an entirely different matter if the politicians of the two parties felt the need to contest under one banner; but it is no minute matter when a foreign mission paints banners for forced alliances.
Norway has long been released from its peace-broking duties. Its next mission should not be war-broking.