The Collapsed House of Norwegian Cards
Posted on December 1st, 2011

Dr. Susantha Goonatilake

 The over 200 page statement of failure on the Norwegian attack on Sri Lankan sovereignty in its faulty “Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997-2009” is a document on lessons we should learn. It was but a culmination of the 500-year attempt by the West to dominate us in cahoots with their local lackeys. It was the failure of a “spiritual and temporal conquest of Sri Lanka” as the Portuguese historian Queyroz termed the Portuguese intrusion.

 After the Portuguese had brutalized the country, Queyroz said that the Sinhalese were “pride itself”; and think only they in the world “observed and maintained the art of government, cleanliness and propriety and that all the other nations are barbarous, low and wanting in cleanliness and propriety – especially Europeans.” He said the Sinhalese considered those who do not eat as they do are the lowest and those who do not wash properly “neither clean nor proper” and that they do not bow to foreigners.

As Norwegians did dirty dancing on us – “neither clean nor proper” – we must ask who wrote the report, which publications they read and whom they interviewed. An examination of this gives a list of those in the forefront of subverting our sovereignty and misinterpreting us to foreigners. And the misleading, apologetic report is the outcome. And I personally know the major institutions and the persons involved, having written about the latter in two books published by two leading Western academic publishers.

But, before discussing the official Norwegian intervention, we should mention a little-known unofficial intervention, namely by the Norwegian academic Johan Galtung. I have come across the man academically. Once we both gave keynote addresses to the World Futures Federation, and a few weeks ago, at another global conference in a Greek resort. In a very pretentious interview at Al Jazeera he boasted how he wanted to bring peace by nearly dividing Sri Lanka but failed – he implied it was his greatest failure.

The two authors of the current report come from the Christian Michelsen Institute CMI in Bergen Norway and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Several decades ago, I gave a lecture at the former. This was a time when tiny Norway did not have pseudo-imperial ambitions (and not the huge oil funds it now has). Later, as a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Trondheim and Oslo, I helped Prof Wenke Barth Eide of the latter, inaugurate development studies in Norway on the basis of equal academic relations between Norway and the Third World. Equality was lost in recent Norwegian postures. It was Wenke Barth Eide who got Kumar Rupesinghe to Norway after meeting him at my house. CMI itself had a previous foray into Sri Lanka in its report on the failure of “International Alert” under Kumar Rupesinghe titled NGOs in Conflict – an Evaluation of International Alert. Interestingly Eide’s husband Asbjorn was head of the Peace Institute (PRIO) while their son Espen is Defence Minister now in charge of war matters, especially terrorism. War is peace, peace is war. Sponsoring LTTE terrorism was a major export commodity of Norway.

SOAS, perhaps the largest and oldest institution for Asian studies was actually started with inputs from Rhys Davids and Martino De Zilva Wickremasinghe, both key members of our Royal Asiatic Society. A former Ceylon civil servant Davids set up the Pali Text Society in London with the help of 96 Sinhalese monks and became Professor of Pali at London. Wickramasinghe was Reader in Tamil and Telugu in London and Lecturer in Sinhalese and Head of the Dravidian Department at SOAS. Since then, SOAS has seen, at least up to the 1970s several Sri Lankans getting Ph.D.’s there. But by our shortsightedness, that inflow has ceased closing a vital window to the world. But this report is not by the section of SOAS dealing with Asian civilisation but with “development studies” for which knowledge of Sri Lankan culture is not required as was the case for British civil servants – like Davids earlier.

Development studies’ origin was the University of Sussex where I was in the staff but left to return to Sri Lanka after writing articles in their journal such as “Development thinking as cultural neo-colonialism”. A major trigger was the disgust I felt of a leading light of Marga coming with intellectual cap in hand. My intention was that I should help develop independent thinking in Sri Lanka – only to realize decades later that many Lankan social scientists were gobbled up in the pseudo-intellectual web of well-paying anti-national foreign funded NGOs.

If the background of the two authors of the report is a key window to its contents, then more so are the “authorities” they cite and those they interview. Let us begin with politicians. They have interviewed Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Kumaratunga under whom the Norwegian-LTTE sponsored CFA was signed. No interview with Mahinda Rajapakse who called the CFA bluff. No interview with JVP and JHU who opposed it very vocally. But they have interviewed the LTTE front in Oslo, Rajah Balasingham calling him a “Tamil representative in Oslo” equating the LTTE with all Tamils.

 But there is one “Melinda Morogoda” clearly Milinda Moragoda, another Norway and CFA supporter, (not even getting the spelling of their supporter correct). He had got nearly Rs. 1.2 billion rupees from Norway, the report notes. Harim Peiris, Chandrika’s spokesman during the period is interviewed. He is described in a church article on church intervention on Sri Lanka as an evangelical (read fundamentalist) Christian, perhaps adding fuel to the recent articles in the foreign press linking the LTTE with the Church.

 They have interviewed Norwegians Solheim, Helgesen, Westborg, Hanssen-Bauer and Bondevik all well-known government buccaneers who desecrated us. Westborg, as a tapped phone conversation reveals, was the villain who smuggled high level telecommunication equipment for the LTTE in cahoots with Bradman Weerakoon. Westborg when he was the head of Redd Barna together with Sarvodaya, settled in the Vanni tens of thousands of Indian estate Tamils being deported to India under the Sirima-Shastri Pact. When Prabhakaran was finally trapped in the Vanni, these illegal Tamils became key soldiers for the LTTE.

 There are other lesser-known Norwegians interviewed: Lisa Golden from its Foreign Ministry, Iselin Frydenlund of the University and Arne FjƒÆ’†’¸rtoft of World View International Foundation. Introductions are required. In the dark days of the CFA, several of us spending our own money organised several major conferences in Sri Lanka and one in Oslo under the banner World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS). For Oslo, we had as speakers Chalk from the Rand Corporation, Stewart Bell of the Canadian paper National Post, Paul Harris, the author driven out by Prabakaran, Asoka Bandarage, H.L.D. Mahindapala, Ranjith Soysa, Douglas Wickramaratne and myself. As we landed, Jehan Perera, a recipient of Norwegian funds, was quoted in the Norwegian press saying that we were “extremists”. A book based on our conference was published but is not referred to.

 We had invited Solheim, he didn’t come but Golden came instead. She made a brief speech saying everybody was supporting the CFA including the JVP and JHU – a blatant lie. We stopped her as she wanted to hurry away asking her to listen to the other speakers. She stayed, but our views had no effect. Frydenlund then studying Buddhism and Sri Lanka was at the conference. She is now at PRIO Peace Research Institute Oslo and her bias is seen from the PRIO site where she gives particular attention “to those Buddhist monks who have expressed support for the peace process” and talks of “War and Buddhism in Sri Lanka – a contradiction”. Decades ago when we thought Norway was a friendly country, my wife did a research in “reverse anthropology” at Frydenlund’s same PRIO studying native Norwegian women working in the Third World. The result: the more Norwegian women interacted with developing countries the more prejudiced they became. Finding that my wife had academic links then to Norway, then Minister Hameed got her appointed to the World View board of Arne FjƒÆ’†’¸rtoft. Soon she resigned after a Norwegian newspaper quoted the unknown FjƒÆ’†’¸rtoft stating that in Sri Lanka, he was as well-known as the Buddha and Marx. This arrogance was a continued thread in Norwegian interventions.

 Jehan Perera, Kumar Rupesinghe and Norbert Ropers, all of the foreign NGO lobby and with known views against nationalist positions were all interviewed. The report mentions that Kumar Rupesinghe received the most Norwegian funding for the Norwegian “peace process”. Ropers who through his Berghoff Foundation wanted our Armed Forces depleted and brought under the control of NGOs, was later deported. FORUT whose Director had been deported for refusing to fly the Sri Lankan flag is interviewed. Sahadevan brought as an expert to the Colombo University from the Jawaharlal Nehru University is interviewed. Just before the end of the war, he went on international TV condemning Sri Lanka. Sahadevan’s anti-Sri Lanka views are a contrast to his predecessor Urmila Phadnis who was fond of Sri Lanka.

Those quoted in the report include Marga who had earlier welcomed the Indian intervention. Sunil Bastian, an advocate of federalism. Berkwitz who wrote that the late Venerable Soma who had lived in Australia had resisted the global. Jonathan Spencer who at a recent lecture at ICES implied that Sri Lanka should not have got Independence. Niloufer de Mel who wrote of our forces’ buildup to defeat the LTTE as militarisation. Mark Duffield is quoted on the tsunami but not his contribution to the previous critical report on Kumar Rupesinghe’s then International Alert where Duffield said that foreign funded “NGOs were privatizing foreign policy” in Sri Lanka. The report cites Uyangoda who in writing had advocated separatism. It quotes Unmaking the Nation the book sponsored by Kumari Jayawardena which made the preposterous claim that Anuradhapura was discovered for us only by foreigners and that the Mahavamsa was an imagined history. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu is quoted but not his statements questioning the need for sovereignty. Bradman Weerakoon is cited but not the tapped and published telephone conversation of Westberg with the LTTE where Weerakoon is implicated in smuggling equipment to the LTTE. Several of these had links with ICES whose director was sent away for advocating armed intervention in the country.

 All those who wrote pointing out the perfidy of the Norwegians are not quoted. While they were advocating different solutions for Sri Lanka, the restrictive Norwegian Constitution demands that its head of State should be a Lutheran Christian and that all its officials should know Norwegian. Not quoted are those who spoke at our conference in Oslo namely Chalk from the Rand Corporation, Stewart Bell of the National Post, Paul Harris, Asoka Bandarage, Mahindapala, Ranjith Soysa, Douglas Wickramaratne and myself. Not quoted are the numerous commentators who criticized the Norwegian exercise such as S.L. Gunasekera, Gomin Dayasiri (and very many others). Missing notably is the book by Kingsley de Silva where after careful research, the whole basis of the Norwegian intervention which assumes a fictitious traditional homeland of the Tamils is totally debunked. Excluded are the books published by Western academic presses challenging and exposing the mistruths of their key informants: one by Bandarage and two by me. Missing are the published detailed instructions of the foreign funded NGOs on how to brainwash the entire Sri Lanka spectrum from politicians, to government officials to academics.

 The report says tellingly “working “ƒ”¹…”on’ conflict sometimes amounted to trying to “ƒ”¹…”buy peace'” and that “Norwegians were dispersing largesse in order to buy peace”¦ often quite lavishly “¦ to galvanize support for the peace process”. In short, they were giving huge bribes to support the CFA like the earlier colonials gave land to those who converted to Christianity. And the numbers are astounding compared to the very meager resources academic institutions in Sri Lanka get.

 The extent of the “bribes” is seen when during the period of the CFA most aid of Norway, the report notes went to “Conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security’ and ‘Government and civil society (read NGOs)”. Of the NGOs, Milinda Moragoda got Rs. 1.2 billion rupees and the two outfits of Kumar Rupesinghe “Anti-War Front” got Rs. 203 million while his “Foundation for Coexistence” got Rs. 683 million a total of nearly Rs. 1 billion for Rupesinghe.

 Moragoda was seen during the CFA in talks with soldiers. It will be interesting to see whether he carried to them the “downsize the Army” slogan of Berghof, part of the NGO agenda. Rupesinghe after getting nearly Rs. 1 billion from the Norwegians and after the report mentioned the amount he got is now ungrateful and critical of them. The meeting of Rupesinghe’s Anti-War Front which was against military action was attacked publicly by angry citizens. His subsequent “Foundation for Coexistence” had no strategic use because it was the LTTE who prevented coexistence and now after the elimination of the LTTE people live peacefully. Frederica Jansz now caught up in the white flag controversy and once the local head of International Alert which was the subject of an earlier critical report by Norway praises the ceasefire and Solheim and criticises the Divayina and Lankadeepa for pointing out the faults of the CFA.

 Another beneficiary of Norway, the NPC National Peace Council’s Jehan Perera who was vocally advocating PTOMS which would have given even greater powers to the LTTE than the CFA did, now says the CFA “contributed to ending the war”. He conveniently forgets the illegal courts, police force and other elements of a separate state which the army had to get rid of at great cost. Earlier this NPC had marched with the LTTE in Geneva singing their anthem and Perera himself had welcomed the Indian troops here.

 The Norwegian report adds “Donors’ close relations with a small group of Colombo-based NGOs weakened the popular legitimacy of civil society”. An obvious fact, if they had only followed their earlier report on International Alert which warned of the unpopularity of NGOs in Sri Lanka. They did not learn their lesson, neither did we as these NGOs like colonial missionaries are still allowed to sing for their large supper to fit their donors’ foreign requirements. Others would call them foreign spies.

14 Responses to “The Collapsed House of Norwegian Cards”

  1. Ariya Says:

    “…everybody was supporting the CFA including the JVP and JHU…”
    Of course, it is blatant lie!

    The majority of us felt insulted, when Ranil signed such a document. And we must not ever forget that guys like G.L. Pieris, S.B, Navin D, etc were on the side with Ranil when it happened and they agreed to that. Now they are in the government doesn’t take away their treacherous act those days. Of course, Rauf H, Mano G, Thonda were with Ranil, but they cannot be trusted as they always jump.

    Actually, I am surprised how MR works with these guys and how he manages to control them.

  2. S de Silva Says:

    Question on Safety – Is there sufficient room for a driver of a vehicle in the emergency lane as a result of a breakdown carefully open his door at all with saety, any instructions on this? – S de Silva – London

  3. Ben_silva Says:

    Well said Susantha. Those who supported the CFA are true enemies of Lanka. We need to keep an eye on them, investigate them and expose them. Some of us had to spend a lot of energy and all our time fighting against the CFA. If the CFA was implemented, it would have been the start of the end of Sinhalese in Sri Lasnk. 13th A is also another threat. If the North and East remain mono ethnic, the serious threat to te Sinhalese and peace in Lasnka will not go away. It is time for the Sinhalese to stand up, be counted and safeguard their only homeland, whilst being fair to all citizens.

  4. nilwala Says:

    Hope that this exercise in INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION, that has proved to be a ‘failure’ according to Norway’s own assessment, will serve as a lesson to the West that the unintended consequences of such interventions are that greater permanent problems are left behind for the countries that have had to bear the brunt of the West’s “good intentions”. More people have been killed because of the CFA and the empowerment it gave the LTTE to arm itself to the teeth, thus causing an escalation of the war and a build up of false hope that gave them the impetus to start the next cycle of war which they thought would bring them their carved out territory of Eelam. It failed and the Tamil people have been left disillusioned, which means that Reconciliation is made very complex and would take longer than if there had been no CFA.

    AML

  5. Christie Says:

    Thank you Dr Goonatilake for letting some light on the workings of the CFA and the Norway and your personal experience.

    I read in the Gulf News recently, this report refers to number of meetings between Tamil terrorist reps, Norway peace merceneries and RAW (awatar of Third Eye the Indian Intelligence Service) agents. Some meeting took place at the Delhi Airport.

    So one thing is clear from that news item, that is Norway is not alone in this CFA and India was also a party. Are there a lot of Indian and Tamil academics in Norway?

  6. Christie Says:

    MR and other leaders of the Island nation should empower the majority of the country first and at the same time remove the priviledges enjoyed by the minority.

    The problems goes back to 1951 when the majority politic was divided with Indian funds.

    SWRD was paid by Indian interest, the same way for Kumar Rupasinghe. India has procured communication and exploration; equipment and technology from Norway. So Norway had plenty of money to give SWRD,s son in law few crumbs.

  7. Ariya Says:

    The Norwegians were never good at any kind of international intervention. Wherever they put their hands, they failed, one good example is Palestine with its never ending conflict. The best example was done by the Sri Lankans, who kicked them away and finished the war. Then JVP guy Wimal W and the whole JHU was right, while the main political parties were wrong in judging the Norwegians and Scandinavians as whole.

  8. hela puwath Says:

    Thank you Dr. Goonatillake,
    Why don’t you, or some other organisation bring out in public (meaning news papers) the details of foreign funding of these individuals and their organisations? Isn’t this a national security issue? Is there any law that prevents us from doing it? In other countries these kinds of activities are considered “subversive” and “treasonous”.

    From your article shows that details of these anti-national activities are known to you and others, so why not let the citizens know? Publication of this information in the Web is a good start, but it is of little use to the ordinary citizen who are left in the dark. They are the real victims, of these high-minded, lowly human beings who would not hessitate to sell their mother for money or glory.

    Government cannot go after these miscreants not for lack of legal means, but for fear of the foreign power behind these traitors. So why not we join as a “Non-Traitorous Non-Governmental Organisation” (NT-NGO) to publicise these activities?

  9. Raju Says:

    ” They have interviewed Norwegians Solheim, Helgesen, Westborg, Hanssen-Bauer and Bondevik all well-known government buccaneers who desecrated us. Westborg, as a tapped phone conversation reveals, was the villain who smuggled high level telecommunication equipment for the LTTE in cahoots with Bradman Weerakoon. Westborg when he was the head of Redd Barna together with Sarvodaya, settled in the Vanni tens of thousands of Indian estate Tamils being deported to India under the Sirima-Shastri Pact. When Prabhakaran was finally trapped in the Vanni, these illegal Tamils became key soldiers for the LTTE.

    What should also be noted is that it was JR who duly assisted in facilitating this move (and thus undermining the pact) to grab votes and support from Thondaman. How it paid off is described perfectly here, compounded by the fact we’re now stuck with such undesirables swamping our country.

    This also highlights the fundamental problem in Sri Lanka amongst Sinhalese in particular and that is the short sighted selfishness that exists. People simply do not care for consequences. They could not care if the nation disintegrates tomorrow if they can grab power (or their party can) today. It is all about satisfying the selfish short sighted needs of today without giving a damn for tomorrow or next week.

    This is how the war was played around with by the likes of Chandrika and Ranil. The two major parties under these Colombians were only interested in pro-longing it as long as possible to thus have political platforms to sell to the public (added to this is their inbuilt desire from birth to do their masters bidding without question).

    With the war gone they have proven to be absolutely bankrupt individuals (and parties in the case of the UNP & JVP) now trying to engineer artificial problems for the country (running to their masters in the West for assistance in doing so) to enable them to have something to bark about.

    The most recent example being the rightful imprisonment of Fonseka (a man with no honour, integrity or loyalty to the country and Army, instead driven by his ego and greed) with the likes of Ranil and the rest championing his release. The fact he is in jail is what has given them something to bark over. They in reality are the most pleased he is in jail. If he was out and about they would have nothing to make some drama with. Worst of all is the damage and destruction he would bring to the country with his hate filled tongue (and indeed planned to) would curse Sinhalese for generations to come. Yet for both groups and their supporters they cannot think that far ahead and don’t care either. It is all about “today” and “settling scores” now, regardless of the damage or impact it has on the nation and far into the future.

  10. Raju Says:

    Illegal migration to Sri Lanka is a massive problem with Sri Lanka’s economic boom and better quality of life we will see more and more kallithonis coming to this country illegally or under “work permits” and then never leaving, as Sri Lanka is 1000x better than South India. They just pass themselves off as “Sri Lankans”.

    Things get even worse as Sri Lanka is the ONLY country where low level government servants (i.e. the GAs) can issue birth certificates and passports when they feel like it. And these GAs in the North & East and central province are all Tamil, so they are simply steam rolling them out, not to mention it is ONLY the GAs in these areas that can issue passports & birth certificates as they like. If the Government tries deporting these illegals they cry “discrimination” and “ethnic cleansing”.

    During the CFA nearly Tamils from Toilet Nadu 500,000 flooded this country as “workers” for some dumb worthless projects Indian scammers engaged in. They were crude and filthy people. Many have not left. They migrated to the central province and now have birth certificates and other documentation “proving” they are of “SL origin”.

  11. Ariya Says:

    Raju says; “Things get even worse as Sri Lanka is the ONLY country where low level government servants (i.e. the GAs) can issue birth certificates and passports when they feel like it.”

    Birth certificates are issued in low level government offices in many countries in Europe too, and in China, Japan etc.

    In Europe, a Russian can’t make himself a Pole, even if he knows Polish language, a German can’t make himself a Slovak, even if he knows Slovakian. It’d be hard to get such birth certificates officially there. Forgeries could be, but not originals.

    A Tamil can’t make himself a Sinhalese, even if he speaks Sinhalese well and takes up a Sinhalese name. I know a very successful businessman, who carries a Sinhala name and a surname, speaks beautiful Sinhala, but looks like a Tamil somehow.

    If this country is a Sinhala country, a one-race country like practically all countries in Europe and Asia, we wouldn’t have this problem of Tamils and others getting false documents.

  12. douglas Says:

    We can write books on this subject of signing of the CFA “mothered and fathered” by Norway, during the UNP administration, spearheaded by the then Ministers like Milinda Moragoda, G.L.Peiris and the gang.

    But the question is do we learn a lesson? NO. Why the Sri Lanka Government today has to represent at this seminar launching of a assessmenet of the Norway initiatives? It is the business of the Norway and the citizens of that country.

    The most laughable is to send Mr. Milinda Moragoda who received $ 1.2 millions while being a Minister of the UNP who was also one of the prime movers of the Norway initiatives. The very assessment of the Panel says that this amount was not accounted properly. Where is he now? Today he is the Leader of the Oppossition of the CMC while being a “ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT”.

    DO WE LEARN?

  13. Umberto Gui Says:

    The real enemy is not Norway. The real enemy is TNA and TULF. They fathered the LTTE which was manipulated by the west to destabilize Sri Lanka.

    Now India is building houses only for Tamils in the north. Highly racist. Most of these people are actually Indian nationals.

  14. Christie Says:

    For the poor Sinhalese one or two million dollars looks like a lot. What they do not see is how much money goes to India from the Island nation.

    Norway was only a conduit for Indian interests.

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