From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Sep 30 2009 - 13:17:18 EDT
Norway denies helping the LTTE establish links with Eritrea
Apropos our front-page article headlined 'Norway, Solheim helped
establish LTTE-Eritrea links for arms deals' in Monday's issue,
Norwegian Ambassador Tore Hattrem has issued the following statement:
"[The article] alleges that Norway helped the LTTE to establish
relations with Eritrea, which allowed LTTE to purchase arms from China.
The article also claims that this was a tripartite understanding reached
in Norway 2002-03, and was a conscious move on Norway's part to
strengthen the conventional fighting capability of the LTTE. Norway is
also accused of promising the LTTE to develop ocean resources, both oil
exploration and fisheries. Furthermore, the journalist claims that
Norway has contacted the Maldivian Government in May 2007 to prevent the
Maldivian Coast Guard to intercept a trawler carrying LTTE cargo.
We hereby strongly refute all these accusations, as they are completely
and utterly false. Norway has not established links between Eritrea and
LTTE, and we have of course never in any way been involved in LTTE's
weapon procurements. Furthermore, Norway has never given promises to
LTTE when it comes to utilisation of recourses in Sri Lanka. Our aim and
intentions during our time as facilitator of the peace process was to
act impartially in assisting both the Government and the LTTE towards
reaching a negotiated political solution to the conflict.
Finally, it is completely untrue that Norway contacted the Maldivian
Government in 2007 about a trawler carrying LTTE cargo. We have never
been in contact with the Maldives about any such issue, simply because
we have never financed or been involved in LTTE's military activity,
which would have been going against all our values, as wells as
Norwegian laws and regulations.
We are surprised and disappointed that the Embassy was not contacted in
advance before these accusations were printed. We were not given a
chance to comment on the allegations, which is widely considered as
normal and recognised procedure of responsible journalism."
Source :The Island
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