WikiLeaks: Sri Lanka imported radio equipment for LTTEJanuary 8th, 2011 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, Jan 8, The Sri Lankan government had imported radio equipment for the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2002 as it tried to work out a peace deal in collaboration with the Norwegian facilitators, according to a cable sent by the US mission in Colombo revealed by WikiLeaks.The move “left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth” stirring controversy that the government and the Norwegian facilitators have gone too far to please the Tigers, the US cable dated Dec 20, 2002, said.
The ruling United National Party (UNP) in 2002, with the assistance of Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka, ordered the radio equipment for the LTTE radio station “Voice of the Tigers”, which was legalized by the government as a private entity and given permission to broadcast, the colomboPage.com reported Saturday.
According to the cable released recently by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, the duty free shipment was received by the Norwegian Embassy and was handed over to the Peace Secretariat from where it was transferred to the LTTE with the help of the defence ministry.
After the shipment, both the Sri Lankan and Norwegian governments came under severe criticism from various political parties, particularly from the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party, the cable noted.
The Sri Lankan government responding to the flak, said that the import of the equipment was allowed because the LTTE had agreed to accede to government’s broadcasting regulations.
The Norwegians have told the US that they were only working to further the peace process at the Sri Lankan government’s request.
The US in the leaked cable says that while the incident did not cause much damage to the peace process, but its handling provided the skeptics of the peace process some ammunition.
The current Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa abrogated the failed ceasefire agreement in January 2008 and launched a massive military offensive against the militants that ended the country’s decades-long insurgency of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.
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- India, LTTE met 'secretly' before Sri Lanka truce: Eric Solheim - Nov 13, 2011
- Solheim to visit Sri Lanka -- to mend fences - Oct 18, 2010
- Sri Lanka closes down peace secretariat - Jul 31, 2009
- Both Sri Lankan govt, Tamil Tigers committed 'human rights abuses': Wikileaks - Dec 18, 2010
- Swiss to grill Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka - Jul 27, 2012
- Sri Lanka dumps Norway as peace facilitator - Apr 13, 2009
- Don't link critics to LTTE, Sri Lanka told - Mar 15, 2012
- `US can learn from India's tackling of Punjab, Kashmir' - Dec 18, 2010
- Police, protesters clash in Sri Lanka - Feb 17, 2012
- Prabhakaran to blame for LTTE's demise, says Karuna - Dec 14, 2010
- Sri Lanka's axing of Norway shows uneasiness with West - Apr 14, 2009
- Sri Lanka protests over LTTE stamps in France - Jan 03, 2012
Tags: ceasefire agreement, defence ministry, free shipment, janatha, ltte, mahinda rajapaksa, norwegian embassy, norwegian newspaper, norwegians, peace deal, peace process, private entity, radio equipment, sri lankan government, sri lankan president, station voice, tamil tiger rebels, united national party, voice of the tigers, wikileaks