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- Norway must withdraw from assignments in Sri Lanka

- It is very unfortunate that Norway is both facilitator of the peace process in Sri Lanka and at the same time leads the ceasefire observers, says Morten Høglund (Frp).


- These are very sensitive questions, says Morten Høglund, FRP's long-standing representative in the Storting's Foreign Affairs Committee, to questions related to Norway's role in Sri Lanka.

- I agree that it is very unfortunate that Norway is both a facilitator of the peace process and a leader of the ceasefire observers. Norway should therefore withdraw from the ceasefire observers, says Høglund, who knows the issues well after a visit to Sri Lanka.

- There are a lot of allegations against Norway in Sri Lanka. We must take this seriously and go to the bottom of it. Norway should be responsive and especially careful in relation to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), which have problems with their legitimacy, says the FRP politician.

Just as the accusations being made in Sri Lanka that the Tamil Tigers have received weapons training at Rena military camps, Høglund believes it falls on its own unreasonableness.

- This was a visit, not a training. Everything Norway does must be done in openness, so that we are not perceived as pro-LTTE. But if the EU actually puts the Tamil Tigers on its terror list, and Norway thus becomes a refuge for them, then we have a problem, Høglund believes.

Other politicians in the Foreign Affairs Committee are more sparse in their comments on the criticism that was raised against Norway's role in Sri Lanka in last week's Ny Tid.

- A process is underway here. It is natural that different actors have different views. We have full confidence in the work carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian authorities, says leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Olav Akselsen (Labor Party) in an e-mail.

- I currently do not know enough about this conflict. But it is natural that there will be a debate about Norway's role in a peace process in a war that has lasted so long, says Ågot Valle (SV), who has recently become a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

However, the SV politician questions the motives of the experts Ny Tid has spoken to for his criticism of Norway.

- Besides, according to what I have managed to win, there was full openness both in Norway and in Sri Lanka about the Tamil Tigers' visit to Rena military camp. The visit, where they were shown demining, was approved by the Sri Lankan authorities. It is therefore strange that this is taken up as a problem today. But it is clear, it is natural that there will be a debate about Norway's role in such a conflict, says Valle.

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