The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) and the Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights (SPUR) wish to bring to your attention that Norway has failed as a "facilitator" in Sri Lanka primarily because it violates UN resolution 1373. Peace in Sri Lanka too has failed to progress to a satisfactory end mainly because Norway has failed to honour its legal and moral obligations under UN Resolution 1373, as will be shown later.
It is our contention that neither the long-term peace process, nor the short-term Ceasefire Agreement signed on February 22, 2002, will provide any hope for the future as long as Norway is permitted to override legal provisions that prohibit terrorism and related activities in all its forms. This is a serious issue that should be dealt with by the counter-terrorism Committee as it is has global implications for peace processes and the threat to global stability and peace from threats of terrorism.
Under provisions of UN Resolution 1373 Norway is obliged to
1. criminalize the willful provision or collection, directly or indirectly, funds for terrorism;
2. freeze resources of persons who commit, or attempt to commit terrorist acts either by their nationals or those in their territory.
3. prevent suppressing the financing of terrorist acts and
4. prohibit their nationals or any person and entities within their territories from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources available to terrorists.
Norwegian authorities claim that they cannot combat the terrorist activities of the LTTE because the Sri Lankan government has lifted the ban on the LTTE as a terrorist organization. It could also be argued that it would be difficult for them to be a "facilitator" and win the confidence of the LTTE if they ban it as a terrorist organization. The underlying idea here is to present Norway as a non-partisan "facilitator" acceptable to both sides. But this claim to be a non-partisan "facilitator" ceases to be valid the moment Norway opens its doors to the agents of the LTTE to operate freely within its borders. Norway argues that the policy of non-interference with the activities of the LTTE is pursued in the name of peace. But it has three direct results:
a) It violates International Law and national laws. This is self-explanatory. The philosophy behind this was summarized succinctly by His Excellency Kofi Annan when in a recent BBC broadcast he stated: "Every nation that proclaims rule of law at home must respect it abroad." This principle applies to Norway in every respect. A state that permits terrorist groups to function freely within its borders knowingly that it has committed crimes against humanity, war crimes such as conscripting children as soldiers are deemed to be violating international laws, rule of law and humanitarian laws.
b) It defeats the declared purpose of Norway being a "state/facilitator" to bring peace because by appeasing one side — particularly the side that violates the Ceasefire Agreement and commits acts of terrorism — it has sowed deep suspicions of its role as an impartial and objective middle-man to the other side and
c) Undermines the very purpose of bringing peace to Sri Lanka because Norway has become a safe haven for the agents of LTTE who to this day has shown no signs of ceasing its terrorist activities. Norway’s credibility of being a "peace-maker" has been placed in doubt when its territory is being used to collect funds to commit acts of terrorism against all communities in Sri Lanka, including the Tamils.
The role of Norway, a state/facilitator, has raised five central issues:
1) Can a "state/facilitator" be allowed to violate the principles and purposes of international law as expressed explicitly in UN Resolution 1373?
2) Can a "state/facilitator" place itself above international law in the name of peace and open the doors to terrorism and its related activities within its borders?
3) Can a "state/facilitator", on the one hand, violate the fundamental principles of UN Resolution 1373, enunciated to combat terrorism, and, on the other, hope to bring peace in the terrorized domain?
4) Isn’t UN Resolution 1373 based on the basic principle that the encouragement of terrorism by any one of its member states leads to destabilization of global peace?
To what extent can the UN allow its member states to violate its laws in the name of peace, particularly when the terrorist groups exploit the loopholes and/or leniency to strengthen its forces and resort to crimes against humanity?
To take the concrete example of Sri Lanka, Norway’s entry as a state/facilitator has been compromised by its refusal to abide by the legal provisions expressed in Resolution 1373. It cannot hope to bring peace in Sri Lanka whle allowing the LTTE to raise funds, permit the LTTE agents operating in Norway to threaten, attack and vilify non-LTTE Tamils who are domiciled in Norway, provide a haven for LTTE agents, open its banks as centers of collecting funds for the terrorist activities of the LTTE, etc. In short, can "peace-facilitators" encourage and legitimize terrorism that is undermining its own peace process?
We submit to you following information on Norway’s direct assistance to the LTTE and request you to take required action in terms of your Committee.
1. Evidence of the well-known LTTE front organizations’ operations carrying out propaganda collecting funds in Norway.
Some of the front organizations functioning in Norway are as follows:
i) Tamil Co-Ordinating Committee, Norway
Pb 1699 Vika, 0110, Oslo.
ii) Tamil Rehabilitation Organization
P.O. Box 4742, Sofienberg, 0506, Oslo.
iii) Tamilsk resurs-og veiledningssenter
a. Nedra Rommen 3,0988 Oslo.
b. P.O. 135 Furuset, 1001 Oslo.
iv) Tamilsk Ungdoms Forum
P.B. 118, Blindern, 0313, Oslo.
v) Tamilsk Kvinne Organization
P.B. 6678, Rodelokka, 0502, Oslo.
vi) Tamil Development Network
Vestregata 64, 9008, Tromso.
viii) Tamil Sangam i Norge
P.B. 127, Stonner, 0913, Oslo.
2. Norway Government and Norway government-funded NGOs continue to finance the LTTE front organizations of the LTTE.
We give below the funds received from year 2000 to 2004 by the LTTE fronts.
Integration funds from Oslo Municipality
Government Funds for the LTTE front organization voluntary work
Government funds for the LTTE fronts
(Source — Oslo Municipality, Dept Leader Trond Borgeresen as per their letter 22.6.2004).
3. Norway donations of Hi-Tech radio equipment to the LTTE (Asian Tribune of 22.7.2004)
India has warned Sri Lanka of these facilities LTTE possess to track down telephone conversations and locations. Asian Tribune reports states. "The LTTE can track down even telephone conversations by the officials in the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka through remote-sensing radio transmitting devises which have been provided by Norway in 2002, when helping the purchase and importing radio transmitting equipment in 2002. India also pointed out that LTTE was able to locate telephone conversation between Sachi master with Tamil Broadcasting Corporation through their remote sensing devise and they subsequently managed to slay him inside the Batticaloa prison through one of their inmates." Since signing the CFA in February 2002 nearly 180 political opponents have been killed by the LTTE, in most cases helped by the tracking down facilities of sensitive hi-tech equipment provided by Norway.
4. Norway has no restrictions on the funds remitted by the LTTE fronts in Norway to Sri Lanka for funding of the LTTE terrorists.
The following information indicates the extremely high level of funds remitted to Sri Lanka by the LTTE fronts.
Total Funds Trade Balance
remitted from Aid (in Norwegian
Norway to Sri Kroners)
365 m 70 m 202 m 93 m
Source — Estimates based on figures received from Bank of Norway (transfers less than NOK 250,000 — are not included in above figure)
It can be easily be assumed that 75% of the transfers are from the LTTE fronts in Norway to LTTE related organizations in Sri Lanka.
It is also a well-known fact that Norway acts as the banking centre for the LTTE funds collected in Europe, North America. Col Karuna who was a inner circle member of the LTTE until he parted company in an interview with London based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation as reported in the Asian Tribune of 18.8.2004 said "Money collected for terrorism activities in Sri Lanka are banked in the monetary institutions in Denmark and Norway... "He alleged that Norway Government has helped the LTTE with banking money collected from expatriate Tamils and other questionable sources, intended to be used in future for violent terrorist activities against the Government and the people of Sri Lanka."
5. Norway’s organized visits for the LTTE representatives to Rene Special Forces camp in Norway.On April 1, 2003 the Norwegian Government, knowing very well that the LTTE representatives were members of a group who believe in armed violence, took them on a conducted tour of the military camp. The Norwegian government argued that this was to enable the LTTE peacekeepers understand their techniques. To our knowledge, there is an obvious contradiction in "peace-makers" being shown military exercises. We are of the view that it was a familiarization visit for the members of the terrorist group to get first hand information about operations inside a specialist camp. This is perhaps the first time the members of the Tamil Tigers were given access to military camp in the developed world. About 15 years ago, some groups of Tamil Tigers received training in PLO camps and later in Indian camps. The visit to Rena lasted for four hours.
6. Arrest of a Norwegian National, Christy Reginald Lawrence, in April 2000 in Phuket, Thailand.
When the Thai police raided Christy Reginald Lawrence’s speedboat they found advanced communications equipment, LTTE training videos, weapons and military uniforms. Later, they found a half built submarine in a nearby shipyard. Lawrence was given bail in Thailand and went back to Norway. Since, then Norway has not taken any action about this treacherous act. The fact that no action was taken by Norway to further investigate the anti-Sri Lanka, pro-Tamil Tiger activity of this Norwegian National proves that either the Norwegian government was directly involved in assisting the Sea-Tigers wing of the LTTE or helped them by engaging in a cover up act.
It is also reported that the Norwegian ex-special forces had trained the LTTE’s Sea-Tiger wing.
7. Norway government officials take part in Tamil Tiger front propaganda and fund collection meetings.
Recently in Oslo, when the Tamil Sangam, a well known LTTE front organization had a propaganda meeting Norwegian government officials such as Mr. K. M. Bondevid, Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, Minister of Local Government, Lisa Golden of the Foreign Ministry and Eric Solheim, the Special Adviser to the Foreign Ministry were present. The meeting openly collected funds and Prabhakaran’s photographs and photographs of armed attacks carried out by the Tigers against the SL government were displayed.
At this meeting V. Balakumaran, the trainer of suicide squads of the LTTE who had been granted a visa by the Norwegian Government, addressed the gathering and openly stated that the LTTE planned to use suicide bombs in the event of a war, according to Danish newspapers. He also said that the LTTE would not allow opponents to damage the organization, with the inference that such opponents would be killed.
The sponsors of the propaganda meeting, the Tamil Sangam had been helped by way of Norwegian Government and municipal funding.
8. There are a number Norwegian police and intelligence reports on visa scandals of the LTTE in Norway.
Norwegian police is in possession of a number of reports in which the LTTE is engaged in visa scandals with the official complicity. Also threats against the Norwegian police and Tamil dissidents resident in Norway are pigeon holed due various pressures from the state.
The eight-page intelligence report prepared by Widar Brathen, Norwegian Police Officer submitted to Norway’s internal Security Department clearly indicate the close relationship between Norways’s Immigration officials and the LTTE. The report proves that Norway had detailed knowledge of the LTTE activities from the early ‘90s such as weapons depots in Europe, collection of funds to purchase arms, selling of visas by the foreign office officials to the LTTE, helping the smuggling activities of the LTTE etc. The Norwegian government due to reasons best known to the political masters is ignoring the report.
The above documentation amply demonstrates how Norway is overtly and covertly helping a terrorist organization violating the UN Resolution 1373(2001).
We appeal to you to investigate this issue and take action in keeping with the United Nation’s determination.
1) To enforce international obligations and laws that require member states to adhere the rule of law and
2) To defeat terrorist organizations by enforcing UN Resolutions endorsed by member states.
Norway’s refusal to adhere to moral and legal obligations underlined in instruments of international law has led to the recurring violations of human rights in Sri Lanka. Norway has been and continues to be the central banking ENTITY for collecting funds for Tamil Tiger terrorists, as stated by Col. Karuna, the rebel LTTE member. Even the Norwegian counter-terrorist authorities cannot take any action as Norway has failed to act in accordance with provisions of UN Resolution 1373.
We believe that the evidence provided above is sufficient to establish more than a prima facie case of Norway’s guilt in violating UN Resolution 1373. To summarize Norway is guilty of
`95 Providing financial bases to collect and bank funds collected by agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists in Norwegian banks,
`95 Harbouring Tamil Tiger terrorists,
`95 Giving grants to agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists based in Noway to run pro-Tiger publications (UTROP) and broadcasting station
`95 Running hate campaigns against fellow - Tamils opposed to the Tamil Tigers,
`95 Assisting Tamil Tiger terrorists in devious ways in the name of facilitating peace, and colluding with SLMM and agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists to strengthen and white-wash crime against humanity, war crimes and force conscription of children in violation of UN Resolutions 1261.
At a time when the law-abiding world is seeking ways and means to coordinate an action plan to fight international terrorism, it is unfortunate that Norway, a signatory to a number of UN resolutions and conventions, is openly supporting the LTTE. New York Times identified the LTTE, better known as Tamil Tigers, as one of the most brutal terrorist organizations. At a recent presentation in Oslo, Dr. Peter Chalk of Rand Corp, USA, concluded that "....the LTTE is probably a decade ahead of Al-Qaeda, but more intrinsically The group itself may be serving as a critical benchmark for informing and guiding developments in a wider area of maritime terrorism.
From page 8
We conclude with a quotation from His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, who told the General Assembly on 21.9.2004:
"....At the international level, all States - strong and weak, big and small - need framework of fair rules, which each can be confident that others will obey. Fortunately, such a framework exists. From trade to terrorism, from the law of the sea to weapons of mass destruction, States have created an impressive body of names and laws. This is one our organization’s protest achievement.
"And yet this framework is riddled with gaps and weaknesses. Too often it is applied selectively end enforced arbitrarily. It lacks the teeth that turn a body of laws into an effective legal system.
"Where enforcement capacity does exist, as in the Security Council, many feel it is not always used fairly or effectively. Where the rule of law is most earnestly invoked, as in the Commission on Human Rights, those invoking it do not always practice what they preach.
"Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it: and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it."
Put simply, member states cannot be the firemen in the UN and simultaneously be pyromaniacs at home. We most earnestly seek your assistance to keep the UN firemen abroad working, without any inhibitions, as firefighters in their respective homes too.
World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka
(Dr. D. Jayasuriya , President - Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights)