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- Extraordinary of Norway

Representative for peace organization in Sri Lanka boasts Norway's role.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has always maintained a low profile in relation to criticism of Norway's role. Nor will the Ministry provide any response to criticism that has been raised from various quarters in Sri Lanka to Ny Tid. In an e-mail, information consultant Cathrine Andersen writes the following:

"Norway is involved in the process because both parties have requested it. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no comments on the criticism and the accusations that you refer to beyond what political leadership and others involved in the work from the Norwegian side have stated in the media in various contexts. "

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives Ny Tid the name of some contacts in civil society in Sri Lanka that the ministry believes can provide analyzes of the peace process and views on Norway's role.

One of them, Kumar Rupesinghe in the organization Foundation for Co-existence has only good words to come in relation to Norway.

- The Norwegians have played a deep plowing role in getting the ceasefire agreement signed. The war, which had lasted for two decades, and which cost the lives of over 60.000, turned over a million into refugees and led to immeasurable material destruction, is over. The peace that is widespread in the country has made people live without fear, and the economy has partly recovered. It is extraordinary that a country thousands of kilometers away – without economic interests in Sri Lanka and with the only interest in supporting peace – has achieved so much, says Rupesinghe.

He believes that the protests against Norway are politicized and part of the agenda of extremists, and that the media inflates criticism against Norway in ways that are completely out of proportion.

Rupesinghe also does not agree that Norway's dual role is a problem, pointing out that the parties themselves asked Norway to lead the ceasefire observers, and that Norway has criticized terror and murder, most recently when the foreign minister was murdered.

- The problem is that this does not get the attention it deserves, he says.

Rupesinghe also believes that many people misunderstand what mandate Norway actually has as a facilitator and leader of the ceasefire observers. To criticize Norway for lack of pluralism in the areas the Tamil tigers control, or for the fact that Muslims are not part of the peace process, is to shoot at the wrong disc.

- It is the Tamil Tigers and the government that are the two parties that have signed the ceasefire agreement, Rupesinghe points out.

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