Lanka prez demand probe on LTTE funding; alleges Norway funded LTTE
Colombo (Nov. 15, 2014): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday demanded that the Norwegian government must probe the funding of the LTTE during the island's three-decade civil war, alleging that Norway financed the ethnic Tamil militant group.
"They gave money to the LTTE. The Norwegian government must investigate. We have evidence on how they funded the terrorists," Rajapaksa said addressing a political gathering in the northwestern town of Kurunegala.
He specifically blamed former Norwegian minister and peace facilitator Erik Solheim for backing the LTTE.
"This man Solheim is now planning to give evidence against us in Geneva," Rajapaksa said referring to the ongoing UN Human Rights Council's investigation on war crimes committed by both the LTTE and government forces during the final phase of the civil war that ended in 2009.
Norway brokered peace between the government and the LTTE during the time of Rajapaksa's predecessors.
The Norwegian-backed peace initiative between 2000 and 2008 was branded as a betrayal of the island by nationalist groups who opposed the LTTE.
Rajapaksa, who opted for a military solution to the conflict, quit the Norwegian-led peace process during the height of his successful war effort which crushed the LTTE.
He alleged that Solheim and the Norwegians discouraged him on pursuing the war saying the LTTE was an invisible military outfit that could never be defeated.
Rajapaksa who is expected to announce a snap presidential election next week to seek his third successive term harps on his military victory over the LTTE to retain his support among the Sinhala majority community.