Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s arrogance against the international community cannot be passed over in silence, opined VG (Verdens Gang), the popular Norwegian daily with largest circulation, in a editorial column on Tuesday, reminding the Norwegian State and politicians who have involved in resolving the conflict in the past of their duty. “If Norway or Norwegian interests continue to have a say on the regime in Sri Lanka, it is now time to speak out,” the newspaper said putting Sri Lanka in the same league as that of North Korea and Syria.
The paper mentioned Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Vidar Helgesen (Conservative Party) who is also Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister and former Norwegian Development Minister Erik Solheim (Socialist Left Party), who is now serving as the Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and also a United Nations Environment Programme’s special envoy for environment, conflict and disaster, as Norwegian politicians who have been the facilitators of economic assistance and peace negotiation.
The paper has also mentioned a third person, Arne Fjørtoft, a former Left leader, as a person who has invested his ‘efforts’ on ‘Sri Lanka’.
Commenting, Norway watchers among the Eezham Tamil diaspora said the Norwegian journalists have a duty in researching the way how Norway and the powers have handled the conflict in the island paving way for the Sri Lankan State to end the war through a genocidal onslaught in 2009.
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka (PPT) has ruled it as a genocide and a continued genocide abetted by world powers.
The problem is not simply the rulers in the island, as the Western news media projects it in their write-ups. The problem and the root cause is the genocidal State itself, Eezham Tamils say.
On Tuesday, one of the panelists of OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani human rights lawyer who served two terms as chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and who was a former UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or Summary Executions (1998-2004) and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief for the UN Human Rights Council (2004-2010), was awarded with a prestigious Human Rights Award by the Norway-based Stefanus Alliance.
Stefanus Alliance International (formerly Norwegian Mission to the East) is a Christian missions and human rights organisation, with a special focus on freedom of belief and religion as expressed in §18 of the UN Human Rights Declaration.
Ms Jahangir was unable to visit Norway due to the tense political situation in Pakistan. However, she addressed the event through Skype and urged the Norway-based Pakistani migrant community to exert influence on religious tolerance in Pakistan. She was particular in urging the Pakistani diaspora in Norway not to support Madrassas (koran-schools) but to support normal schools.
Former president of Finland Maarti Ahtassari and former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand Silvia Cartwright are the two other members of the OISL appointed by the outgoing UN Human Rights Chief Ms Navi Pillay.