Norway condemns killing of NESoHR Chairman

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 April 2008, 06:33 GMT]
The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo on Tuesday said that Norway condemned the killing of Rev. Fr. M.X. Karunaratnam, the chairman of the NorthEast Secretariat On Human Rights (NESoHR), who was slain in a Claymore attack that targeted his vehicle. The killing further adds to the already far too high civilian toll of the ongoing conflict, the press statement said. NESoHR was launched, in July 2004, as part of the Norwegian-facilitated 2002 Peace Process to strengthen the human rights protection mechanisms in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka.

Ian Martin with Fr. Karunaratnam
Former President of Amnesty International and Human Rights expert, Mr Ian Martin, with Rev. Fr. M.X. Karunaratnam on October 13, 2005, at NESoHR office after overseeing LTTE releasing underage youths who had joined the Tigers.
ICRC officials meeting Fr. M.X. Karunaratnam
Rev. Fr. M.X. Karunaratnam with ICRC officials
Fr. Karunaratnam with UNICEF officials
Rev. Fr. M.X. Karunaratnam with visiting UNICEF officials, overseeing the release of underage youth by the LTTE in Ki'linochchi in October 2005
Karunaratnam led a NESoHR delegation to Geneva in October 2004 and met with several European organizations involved in rights issues. Officials and diplomats visiting Ki'linochchi had also made it a practice to meet Fr. Karunaratnam to discuss the humanitarian situation during their missions to Vanni.

Two of the eleven founder members of NESoHR and parliamentarians, A. Chandra Nehru (former parliamentarian of the TNA) and Joseph Pararajasingham (TNA parliamentarian), have been killed in 2005.

Full text of the Norwegian press statement follows:

21 April 2008


Norway condemns killing of NESoHR Chairman

Rev. Father M. X. Karunaratnam, Chairman of NESoHR, was killed Sunday 20 April by an explosive devise targeting his vehicle.

Norway condemns the killing which further adds to the already far too high civilian toll of the ongoing conflict.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Rev. Father Karunaratnam.


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