Feature Article

IC-directed Norway stubborn on ‘development’ bulldozing national questions

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 June 2012, 10:56 GMT]
The evaluation report of Norway on its failed peace facilitation in the island of Sri Lanka had many points of criticism on wrong application of ‘development’ to the context. But Norway’s stubbornness in applying ‘development’ as a tool to make national liberation movements abide by genocidal and agent States created by the colonial order, and in turn to make them abide by the currently imagined order of the so-called international community, continue not only in the island of Sri Lanka but also in Burma. According to critics cited by Democratic Voice of Burma, the latest Norwegian initiative in Burma is being presented as “bait” for ethnic groups to join the government under its 2008 constitution. Having similar experiences before and after the genocidal war, the Eezham Tamils should not make any more mistakes, commented a political observer in Jaffna.

Erik Solhiem has gone out of office. But the ‘international community’ against which there is no impunity mechanism comes out with new faces with the old agenda.

Last week, a Norwegian delegation led by its Deputy foreign secretary Torgeir Larsen visiting Burma, has defended a controversial peace initiative that will channel aid into conflict-affected regions in Burma despite mounting criticism that it risks coercing ethnic and civil society groups into joining the government.

The delegation met with the commanders of the Burmese army, representatives from the Karen National Union (KNU) and community leaders for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to discuss plans for the $66 million dollar project, said Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) on Thursday.

Norway has suspended aid to cross border groups and pressurises for a working programme with the State in Burma.

Norway’s peace initiative now marginalises key voices and channels all aid money through Burma-government-sanctioned NGOs operating out of Rangoon.

DVB cited a source from a local humanitarian group saying on conditions of anonymity: “It is now clear to me that the intention of the plan is to back the Burma government to bring the ethnic groups under the 2008 constitution and not support the UNFC [United Nationalities Federal Council] or KIO [Kachin Independent Organisation] requests to have dialogue outside of parliament.”

The policy also coerces exiled groups into registering as official NGOs in Burma, if they want funds. But they are not in a position to move back into Burma as legal entities.

The Norwegian mission last week confirmed that a KNU-led committee would be provided with funds for the resettlement of the displaced. But KNU General Secretary has not been informed about the exact nature of the mission.

According to the secretary cited by DVB, the KNU (Karan National Union in Eastern Burma) did not want such programmes expanded before a political settlement was reached.

* * *

Those who are familiar with Norwegian approach to the national question of Eezham Tamils before and after the genocidal war know well how the plan was to trap the liberation-needing nation to abide by the genocidal state in the island.

After the genocidal war, and under circumstances of complete Sinhala militarisation, the Norwegian funding agencies in a coercive way wanted the Eezham Tamil diaspora to work for ‘reconciliation’ under Sinhala NGOs controlled by the Colombo government and chauvinistic Sinhala-Buddhist parties.

In short ‘development’ was insisted at gunpoint through military solution, without political solution or political space.

Resisting voices of the diaspora to the bulldozing injustice of the so-called international community were found with vilifying criticism in the UN panel report and in the reports of the International Crisis Group (ICG), an outfit of the IC.

Speaking in Oslo, last month, former Norwegian peace facilitator Erik Solheim said that there is no international support for a new separate state in Sri Lanka, but for a multicultural, multiracial and multireligious state.

His opinion was “absolutely similar of the opinion of India, of the European Union and the United States of America. [...] – and of a broader western global community, “ Solheim said.

“It may not be the opinion of Iran or Pakistan or some other forces. But, it is most certainly the opinion of the influential parts of the international community in the United States and Europe,” he further asserted.

The ICG has already listed where it would support secession, where it would oppose it and where it would watch.

Norway, at the instance of the so-called IC upholding a pathologically genocidal state, will once again work on convening all Tamil groups in the island and in the diaspora for a common trap with the lure of ‘development’ funds, informed circles say.

Meanwhile, perturbed by India’s inclusion in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) committee for the November sessions of the UNHRC, but knowing very well that the combined guarantee of the US and India and interpretation of ‘reconciliation’ are always on its side, Colombo is keen in another time-buying exercise.

Rajapaksa regime, through its minister GL Peiris has handed over a document of secret agenda to the US government and the exact nature of the commitment of Colombo to Washington is not known even to most of the ministers, said a feature in The Sunday Leader, last Sunday. It also reported the impending visit of a team of UK parliamentarians to North and East and the opposition of JHU to any regional devolution of power.

Unless the affected peoples come together, learn from one another and contribute to one another in taking crucial stands, the orchestration of States cannot be countered. Burma and Sri Lanka are good examples where national questions crucial to concerned people are bulldozed by the so-called IC agenda: ‘development’ at any cost, even at the cost of genocide.

In this respect, the collective stand of the Tamil leadership in the island, in Tamil Nadu and in the diaspora is of universal significance.

Eezham Tamils particularly have to realize that unless they constantly take care of evolving the right kind of leadership to suit their needs and be vigilant in directing its steps now itself, even a Tamil leadership that becomes a puppet of the current orchestrations will be worse than that of the Rajapaksa regime in oppression.


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DVB: Norway defends controversial peace initiative


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