Sri Lanka slams Norway over LTTE-UN meeting

April 1st, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, April 1 (IANS) Sri Lanka has summoned Norway’s envoy and expressed its displeasure after Oslo arranged a meeting between a Tamil Tigers representative and a UN official, it was reported Wednesday.
According to Daily Mirror, the foreign ministry summoned ambassador Tore Hattrem Tuesday to know “why (the) meeting was arranged without consulting the Sri Lankan government”.

Norway facilitated talks between UN Humanitarian chief John Holmes and Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, the new international representative of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The Norwegian ambassador, whose country oversaw the now dead peace process between Colombo and the LTTE, “was also questioned about numerous other allegations”.

“The ambassador is said to have admitted to his country facilitating the meeting between KP and Sir John and (said) two government members had been contacted by Norway prior to the meeting,” the report said.

The foreign ministry said it was against diplomatic protocol to bypass it and consult someone else in the government on a matter of this nature, the report quoted political sources as saying Wednesday.

Norway came under fire last week from the radical National Freedom Front (NFF), an ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, regarding the meeting between KP and the UN official and urged Colombo to sever diplomatic ties with Norway.

Charging that KP was an arms dealer of the LTTE and wanted by the Interpol, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa asked the government to take action against the Norwegian mission for having links with such a person.

KP is listed in the records of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Interpol liaison in India, as Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam. He is known to be close to LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.

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