Sri Lanka condemns attack on its Oslo embassy

April 13th, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, April 13 (IANS) Sri Lanka Monday “strongly condemned” the attack on its embassy in Oslo, Norway, by suspected Tamil protesters, causing extensive damage to the mission, a government statement here said.
Nobody was injured in the attack Sunday evening.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said that as a host country, Norway has failed in its “legal obligation to protect the diplomatic missions” despite the fact that the mission “was under threat from sympathisers of the Tigers for several weeks”.

“We strongly condemn this attack. It is a shocking incident and we are disappointed with the Norwegian government for not taking proper measures to protect a diplomatic mission right in its national capital,” Kohona said in the statement Monday.

Claiming that the government was convinced that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was behind the attack, the foreign secretary said that the negligence on the part of the Norwegian authorities in ensuring proper security to the mission “can be gauged from the simple fact that the hooligans managed to reach it without any hindrance though it is located on the fifth floor”.

Kohona expressed hope that the Norwegian authorities “would act to prevent any further acts of this nature, provide full protection to the embassy, and take stringent action against the criminals behind the attack to justice”.

Oslo has witnessed several demonstrations in recent weeks by Tamils settled there. The demonstrators have sought Norwegian intervention to halt the military operations being undertaken by Sri Lankan forces against the LTTE in the north.

Last Friday, a large number of Tamils staged a demonstration in front of the Norwegian Parliament calling on Oslo to intervene to halt the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels.

Norway played the role of a facilitator for talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE and brokered the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). The agreement was unilaterally abrogated by Colombo in January 2008, claiming that the rebels have misused it to strengthen its military mechanism.

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