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Norway was concerned about JVP

1 October 2014 04:59 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Another US top secret document, released by the Wikileaks revealed that in late 2004, the Norwegians were increasingly concerned by an ‘ugly’ JVP-orchestrated campaign against their role in the peace process.

Stating that “the situation is exacerbated by President Kumaratunga’s reluctance to pull the JVP into line,” the document stated that “Brattskar (then Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo) said he and Oslo were becoming increasingly concerned about and exasperated with the escalating anti-Norwegian rhetoric (also directed against the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, "SLMM") which is clearly being orchestrated by the JVP. Oslo is also "fed up" with the GSL´s "lukewarm" response to the JVP campaign.

11/29/2004 10:36
DECL: 11/29/2014 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, CE, NO, LTTE - Peace Process 
Classified By: James F. Entwistle, Deputy Chief of Mission. 1.4 (b,d)

1. (C)
Summary. The Norwegians are increasingly concerned by an ugly
JVP-orchestrated campaign against their role in the peace
process. The situation is exacerbated by President
Kumaratunga,s reluctance to pull the JVP into line. The
Co-Chair consensus here is that a group call on the Foreign
Minister and/or the President to make clear our support for
Norway and to urge that the JVP,s role in the government be
clarified would be appropriate. End Summary.

2. (C)
The Tokyo co-chair chiefs of mission were convened November 29
by Japanese Ambassador Akio Suda. Norwegian Ambassador Hans
Brattskar and Dutch Ambassador Susan Blankhart attended. DCM
represented the U.S. Suda said he had felt it wise for the
co-chairs to meet and discuss the increasingly ugly
anti-Norwegian campaign being orchestrated by the Janatha
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and turned the floor over to


3. (C)
Brattskar said he and Oslo were becoming increasingly
concerned about and exasperated with the escalating
anti-Norwegian rhetoric (also directed against the Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission, "SLMM") which is clearly being
orchestrated by the JVP. Oslo is also "fed up" with the GSL´s
"lukewarm" response to the JVP campaign. Brattskar shared
copies of two documents. The first was a petition handed over
during a November 24 demonstration at the Norwegian Embassy.
The contents, Brattskar noted, were fairly predictable:
Norwegians too `friendly' with the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the SLMM `does nothing' to prevent
LTTE murders, etc. The interesting parts, Brattskar noted,
were the letterhead and signatories. The petition from the
`Forum of Political Parties and Civil Organizations
against Political Killings and Abductions' was signed by the
anti-LTTE Tamil Eelam People´s Democratic Party (EPDP), the
JVP, the anti-LTTE Tamil Eelam People´s Revolutionary
Liberation Front (EPRLF), the JVP-aligned National Bhikku
Front, the National University Teachers, Alliance and a few
other small groups. There was also a signature line for
breakaway LTTE faction leader Karuna,s party (the TIVM),
although there was no signature. Brattskar said he had no
doubt that the exercise had been organized by the JVP. He took
a dim view of the fact that two member parties (the EPDP and
the JVP) of the ruling coalition had signed the document.

4. (C)
The second document was a letter (which the Norwegians do not
intend to make public) to Brattskar from JVP Secretary General
Tilvin Silva in response to Bratskar,s efforts to meet with
the JVP leadership in order to explain the Norwegian role and
the activities of the SLMM. (As noted in reftel, Brattskar has
seen several JVP personalities in their ministerial roles but
has not been able to obtain a meeting with the political
leadership.) The letter is indeed insulting. It refers to
Norway as `a relatively insignificant country' (Brattskar
laughingly commented, `They,re right about that!') It
accuses Norway of active support and training for the LTTE Sea
Tigers (an old canard that resurfaces periodically in the
media), of pursuing an agenda of active support for the LTTE
against the GSL (`aiding and abetting Tiger terrorism in
devious ways in the name of facilitating peace and thus white
washing crimes against humanity including forced conscription
of children') and participating in LTTE propaganda efforts.
The letter says, due to these `examples' of Norwegian
connivance with the LTTE, `The Norwegian Government has
thus openly contravened the United Nations Resolution 1373 of
2001 relating to the suppression of terrorism.' The letter
concludes with the statement that Norwegian actions
`demonstrate the total lack of our Government,s confidence
in you. In these circumstances, a meeting with you at this
stage will serve no useful purpose.'


5. (C)
Brattskar stated that the JVP clearly is orchestrating a
campaign around the country. He had recently taken separate
trips to Hambantota in the deep south and to Kandy and the
`cultural triangle.' On both trips, there had been clear
indications of such efforts and, Brattskar said, many of those
with whom he met described the JVP campaign in detail. He also
noted that the JVP member of Parliament in Trincomalee had
publicly stated he was organizing a campaign against the SLMM
office there, which Brattskar described as `worrying.'


6. (C) 
Brattskar said, after noting the reference to `the
Government,s' loss of confidence in the Norwegians, he had
written to Foreign Minister Kadirgamar stating that he would
assume that the JVP assertion in this regard was in error
unless he was advised otherwise by the GSL. There has been no
response. Brattskar noted that `we,ve all heard'
Kadirgamar,s now-standard view that the JVP is not cause for
concern since he is `bringing the boys along' and slowly
turning them to a more centrist position. Brattskar said he
could certainly understand the need for the JVP to `blow
off steam' if the party was slowly headed in the right
direction on the peace process. That is not the case. Rather,
the JVP is engaging in ugly rhetoric while heading in
absolutely the wrong direction on the peace front. Brattskar
noted that LTTE leader Prabhakaran, in his November 27
`Hero,s Day' speech (septel) had commented extensively on
how the JVP position was, in the LTTE view, a major stumbling
block on the road back to the peace table. Brattskar commented
that he finds it increasingly difficult to explain the JVP´s
activities and the southern political situation in general to
the LTTE. `They think I´m a fool.'

7. (C)
Brattskar said he will continue to seek clarity from and make
his frustration known to the GSL. He opined, however, that
President Kumaratunga will be unwilling to make the JVP toe
the line (although, according to what Brattskar had heard, she
is privately `furious' with the JVP,s actions) since her
highest preoccupation these days is with ensuring her
political and parliamentary future. She apparently has not
talked to the JVP for over a month. Exacerbating the
situation, Brattskar said, are opposition leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe,s public comments over the weekend that his UNP
party will no longer support the President in the peace
process. This stems from UNP pique over the recent financially
induced defection of a party member to the President,s
coalition (with more such defections rumored to be in the


8. (C) 
Ambassador Suda said he thought that the co-chairs needed to
make clear to the government that the JVP-led anti-Norwegian
campaign is unacceptable. Co-chair reps debated whether it
made more sense to first see FM Kadirgamar as a group or to
seek a co-chair meeting directly with President Kumaratunga
(since the FM,s response would be predictable). Brattskar said
he wanted to talk quietly with the GSL first and also needed
more time to talk to Oslo. He also said he wanted to get a
readout on Norwegian peace envoy Solheim,s December 1 meeting
with LTTE luminary Balasingham in London before undertaking
any new initiatives here. All agreed that they would consult
with capitals with an eye toward some sort of joint co-chair
activity here in Colombo towards the end of the week.
Brattskar said he might not join since Norway would be the
topic of discussion.


9. (C) 
Brattskar is right. The tone of the JVP-orchestrated campaign
is ugly and beyond the pale. We agree with him that it is much
more than `blowing off steam.' With the Department,s
concurrence, we will be ready to participate in a co-chair
call on either the Foreign Minister or the President later in
the week (we think going directly to CBK, who is just back
from Iran, makes the most sense). We believe the theme of the
co-chair presentation should be that Norway and the SLMM have
our full support, that the GSL needs to make clear that the
JVP does not speak for the entire government, that it is
extremely confusing when two coalition parties sign a petition
condemning the Norwegian role in the peace process (in direct
contradiction of the President,s public statements) and that
the current situation of the JVP being `in' the coalition
on some issues but `out' on others is having a deleterious
effect on the peace process. The unknown, of course, is
whether the President is willing to bring the JVP to heel when
the party is crucial to her ongoing political machinations
regarding her political future which, we fear, are at present
a higher priority than the peace process. End Comment.


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