Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sri Lanka drops Norway as peace facilitator

Apr 13, Colombo: Following the attack by pro-LTTE Tamil protesters on Sri Lanka mission in Oslo on Sunday Sri Lankan government has stripped Norway of its role as a peace facilitator of the island's dying peace process with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), a government official said.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry today summoned the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo, Torre Hattrem, to the Ministry to lodge an official protest, the Foreign Ministry said.

Sri Lanka government debriefed the Ambassador over the omissions of security to its mission in Norway and questioned the actions taken by the Norwegian government to arrest the attackers.

Sri Lanka yesterday said it deeply regretted that the Norwegian government has failed in discharging of its obligations under international law to provide adequate security to the Sri Lanka Mission in Oslo.

A group of pro-Tiger protesters stormed the Sri Lankan Embassy yesterday afternoon and extensively damaged the Embassy property. No one was inside the premises at the time of the attack, Foreign Ministry said.

The Royal Norwegian government has informed the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oslo that they have arrested one person involved in the attack.

However, the video footage from the CCTV cameras at the Embassy premises obtained by the Norwegian television clearly shows the faces of several attackers and the face of a another giving instructions.

Following the incident Norwegians have apologized to Colombo for the attack but, Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary stressed that the Norway government has legal obligations to protect the Sri Lankan embassy as this was a serious issue.

Asela Ruwan Weerakoon, Sri Lanka Ambassador in Oslo said that they will carry out its normal duties despite the properties of the Embassy were destroyed by the attackers.

>> Full Story