Norwegian Report:A Pawn or Prawn?
Posted on November 20th, 2011

By Gomin Dayasri-Courtesy The IslandƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The official Norwegian assessment of its 12-year peace effort (1997-2009) in Sri Lanka titled “Pawns of Peace” is a mere surface scratch. The judge and the jury in the report being Norway, the fault lines are spread in other directions omitting to mention the more sensitive mistakes Norway made.

The report is a whitewash of its Sri Lankan adventure. It could re-enact a repeat performance elsewhere due to a faulty analysis: that may prove costly to another nation prepared to accept their assistance and attention. Deep down NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s intentions were honorable, but left in the hands of Solheim, it was subverted by playing the role the LTTE assigned to him – of being their favorite son from a favored nation.

Solheim tried to live-up to their expectations due to his long association with the LTTE, losing credibility for Norway and himself. The named trouble-shooter became more renowned for causing rather than taming trouble. Norway needed an impartial unbiased facilitator to head the project.

This became apparent watching his sometime substitute Bauer at work, with his more even-handed treatment. Their Ambassador in Sri Lanka communicated home the opinion of the crowd he kept company with ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the embassy crawling alienated Colombo society which did not help Norway to monitor the ground situation correctly.

Normally earth bound, Norwegians landed on a flawed Sri Lankan surface and remained permanently in a faulty territory – an error that enlarged with their ambassadorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s stay in Colombo being extended. Probably Solheim wanted him in town.

A laid-back European nation, affluent on North Sea oil, piggybacked in the name of Nobel, invested its nouvelle rich dividends in the business of peace mongering. Norway played for its own glory, without a semblance of an insight into Asian culture. Norwegians became fried “Prawns of Peace” marooned in a Lankan lagoon. Good- natured Norwegian citizenry back home were unaware of the truth of its misguided Sri Lankan mission.

Out of touch with reality, the Norwegian executive summary lists as its achievements (a) Ceasefire Agreement (b) Expressed commitment to explore a federal solution (c) Signing of a joint mechanism for post-tsunami aid. ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s like an opinion of a mad ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”hatter from Alice in Wonderland, as these contributed more to the undoing of peace efforts.

Collectively in a capsulated form (a) Ceasefire Agreement ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” dawned on Sri Lanka the futility of the peace process and made it comfortable to switch to the war option (b) Federal Solution ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” rallied the people to the concept of a unitary state after years of abhorring federalism; suddenly proclaimed by the government as its escape route that would have eased the way to a separate state. (c) Post-Tsunami Structure – was rejected by the courts as illegal – had it being permitted it would have infused unlimited funds to the terrorist front-organization, TRO, to purchase arms.

The Norwegian report presents succinctly reasons for the pet Western aversion that required them to devalue a victory over terrorism and punish Sri Lanka for achieving it. The report explodes with a punch line: “Building on the Westphalian notions of sovereignty and non-interference, a strong developmental state, the military crushing of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”terrorismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, and the prevalence of order over dissent or political change, this model may serve an inspiration for other countries in the region” [Note – the reference to terrorism in the report is within inverted commas in the Norwegian lexicon. To Norway the LTTE was never treated as a terrorist organization – the first of its many errors in misinterpreting the proper character of a prime player]

Norway played its role, as peacemaker for 12 years ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” disbelieving that the LTTE is a terrorist organization though 32 other countries have so certified it. Were the Norwegians wearing blinkers while being associated with the Scandinavian monitors (SLMM) in watching LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s

behavioral pattern to equate “terrorism” to “dissent”? The phraseology utilized to describe Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s triumph over terrorism is described in the report to read: “prevalence of order over dissent or political change. Norway raised both hands for “dissent” (LTTE) over “order” (Government) and to effect a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”political change”. Were the guardians of democracy intending to install autocracy for a deprived democracy in the North and place its people permanently under a tyrannical terrorist regime?

If such were the intentions, were the Norwegians facilitating the peace process for the benefit of Sri Lanka or were they maneuvering the process to fall within their preferred agenda? It is Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s good fortune Norway became a failed facilitator as they may have created another South Sudan. The credit goes to the people of Sri Lanka who did not allow its government to be manipulated by a foreign hand and brought a fresh administration that did away with the three issues cited as NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s success story.

Norway squirms over terrorism being dismantled. The peacemaker, it appears, wanted to make a “political change” by installing terrorists in office through negotiations and sulks about its failure. Would Norway negotiate to place Herat, a provincial capital of Afghanistan, in the hands of Al-Qaida or hand the North of Peshawar to the TalibanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s?

The prize-winning phrase from the report reads -“this model may serve as an inspiration for other countries in the region”. Norway does not want other countries in the region to follow Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s successful model of “Westphalia notions” (belief in the nation-state) by stressing on “sovereignty” and “non interference”- [a gentle way of saying adieu to possible foreign interventions and the doctrine of responsibility to protect]. The Sri Lankan prescription cuts across the spectrum of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”new colonialismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ by which the West enters trouble spots with the poster of human rights and installs a sycophantic leadership servile to the West.

NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s desire to preserve and install the LTTE in office makes them complain of the “military crushing terrorism” in Sri Lanka. The military achieved what Norway failed for 12 years by bringing peace to the country. Of this there is no mention in the report; not a whimper on the hardships caused to Tamil civilians by the LTTE in the executive summary. Norwegians came to secure the LTTE and not to safeguard the rights of the Tamils in the North/East.

Norway had as its objective the continued existence of the LTTE notwithstanding being a terrorist organization in the Sri Lankan scene. To them a Sri Lanka without the LTTE was unthinkable- peace was a much lower priority for the peacemaker. By making concessions to the LTTE and strengthening its military might, Norway thought peace could be achieved and the LTTE sustained – they did not conceive that the LTTE could be militarily annihilated and peace achieved thereafter.

After the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s defeat, they still hoped for the LTTE to remain operating from the jungles or from outside the shores of Sri Lanka. NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s peace exercise was doomed from the beginning because they never contemplated the option that a meaningful peace effort could be only achieved without the LTTE. They could not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” because the LTTE was more important to Norway than peace in Sri Lanka. That is the critical bottom line the Norwegian report failed to comprehend.

Its more a message for Sri Lanka than to Norway, but it is a lesson that will not be learnt by either.

If Norway desires to re-enter Sri Lanka by splashing its currency around, it sure would succeed. As the report says, when their hold on Sri Lanka was faltering they invested in Buddhist charities. Given the available kroners, Norway would be soon seen in business. Norway had during its operations handed hefty sums to the foundations and outfits associated with some of the prime players that played a part in the aforesaid triple disaster the Norwegians consider a success.


2 Responses to “Norwegian Report:A Pawn or Prawn?”

  1. Christie Says:

    The report says Solheim has consulted RAW agents in Norway. He lso and met Tamil terrorist reps and the RAW at the Delhi Airport.

    Solheim is a Socialist in Norway.

    Some leftst churches are members of the World Council of Churches.

    India has sourced significant mitary equipment and technology from Norway as well as from other Nordics.

    So ther is Norway and other Nordic connections to Terrorism in Ceylon (Sri lanka0.

    It is India which has meddled with it from the time of Ramayana.

    India take your modern day Sita back.

  2. S de Silva Says:

    Also please do not forget the hidden Norwegian agenda. Focusing on that vital aspect of Norwegian meddling in SL. Norway would like to make everyone believe that their interest in SL was purely humanitarian – but the truth is far from that. They were interested primarily in two things for themselves: (a) To elevate Norway to a Global Player in international Politics from their present position of a simple nonentity and (b) in the long term to have access to the SL maritime resources via the LTTE. Norway is a global technology leader in fishing, Oil, Gas and mineral recovery from deep sea activities. Via Elam and the LTTE they would have had the rights to all these resources if SL got divided into Elam…. That includes significant titanium -bearing ilmenite (= titanium-iron oxide deposits. Titanium extracted from ilmenite is recognized for its high strength-to-weight ratio). And most SL geologists in the past were Tamils and they too knew the geological facts in support of the economy of Elam. So now we know!!
    Fine if Norway wants to pay back SL, they indeed should do so to expiate their sins for all the damage caused by their encouragement of the LTTE. But SL should insist that all such payments be defined as WAR REPARATIONS and not deceptively packaged as humanitarian aid to be acceptable to SL – S de Silva – London

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