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Updated: October 14, 2009 21:04 IST

Colombo angry over meet in Oslo

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. File photo: AP
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. File photo: AP

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has conveyed Sri Lanka’s deep concern and condemnation to Norway over a meeting held by the Advisory Committee for the formation of the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTGTE) in Oslo this month.

The Foreign Ministry said Mr. Bogollagama summoned Norwegian Ambassador Tore Hattrem on Tuesday and informed him that the government had learnt of the meeting by LTTE front organisations where an action plan for the establishment of a PTGTE had been formulated. “He said that it was a matter of serious concern to note that the LTTE and its proxies were meeting and operating in Norway. The Minister pointed out that the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Norway being strong, such activities and meetings should not be permitted by Norway to take place on her soil.”

The statement said Mr. Bogollagama maintained that such meetings would only lead to what the LTTE had been seeking all these years, of a separate state, and that Norway should not allow activities which are a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.

Mr. Hattrem said his government shared Sri Lanka’s concern and reiterated that Norway had been against the call for a separate state and had remained consistent on this issue.

“He also rubbished the notion of a Transnational Government and reemphasised that the Norwegian Government would not tolerate any activities against a friendly country like Sri Lanka and added that Norway was committed to the various resolutions of the U.N. Security Council to combat terrorism.

“He further stated that the Norwegian law enforcement authorities remained vigilant and any suspicious activities connected to terrorism or those which had a potential to turn violent or illegal would be dealt with according to the laws of the country”.

It said Mr. Hattrem, however, conceded that his country encountered difficulties in preventing the travelling of activists sympathetic to the LTTE but assured that anyone found violating Norwegian laws would be dealt with appropriately.

Mr. Bogollagama cautioned that the LTTE operatives continued to carry out activities under various guises and that though their shades may be different and variant, they were all heading towards the same direction. He also said such events were part of a wider agenda of what remained of the terrorist organisation and should not be allowed to progress.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the government to amend the emergency laws in accordance with the U.N. guidelines on an emergency situation, so that the welfare camps in the north for the war-displaced would become legal.

Addressing the Platform for Freedom on Tuesday, he said the IDPs were held in camps in contravention of the existing laws of Sri Lanka. “Our request to amend the emergency laws has been turned down by the government,” he said.

Reiterating his charges on the suppression of the rights of the people by the government, he said General Sarath Fonseka, Chief of Defence Staff, had become the latest victim of human rights violations in the country, as the speech he made on Monday at the 60th anniversary of the Army was subjected to press censorship.

“We have seen the end of the war against terrorism together with the end of those who won the war, as the government has quite forgotten the brave soldiers,” he said.

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