Mark Salter reveals the immoral mind-set of the Norwegian intervention in SL


 Mark salter

In replying to a column by the veteran journalist Shamindra Ferdinando, Mark Salter has revealed the mind-set of the Western co-chairs who attempted to "bring peace to Sri Lanka" during the military offensive of the LTTE against its elected government. The gist of what Ferdinando stated (Island, 16th August) was that a cable that has come to light through Wikileaks revealed that the co-chairs understood that Kadirgamar was assassinated under the initiative of Prabhakaran, and that this would have remained a secret if not for Wikileaks.

Mr. Salter, responding to Ferdinando, and writing in the Island issue of August 20th, says that:

"From a peace perspective, the crisis provoked by Kadirgamar’s assassination clearly necessitated redoubled efforts to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table. And this is exactly what the Norwegians did, including via the ‘secret’ letter to LTTE leader Prabhakaran that Ferdinando cites. Second, it is hardly surprising - and certainly not unusual - that the content of such a communication was kept confidential".

Imagine a likely but hypothetical situation where the British or Canadian government's foreign secretary (i.e., the equivalent of Kadirgamar) is shot dead by a terrorist organization with which it is holding peace talks, with a special US envoy in charge of the negotiations. Can we imagine the US envoy, knowing who the assassins were, continuing to urge talks with the assassins as if nothing had happened, with "redoubled efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table"? Would the strong public condemnation of the heinous act be throttled down because of the "need to redouble efforts"? Such a patently morally repugnant course of action would never be voiced in the world where Mark Salter lives, when the matters affect THEIR OWN citizens. Instead, the need for accountability, and the need to eliminate the terrorist would have been expressed in no uncertain terms. But no! When it comes to a minor nation like Sri Lanka, where the LTTE was the ISIS which hijacked the Tamil Nationalist movement, let us (i.e., the co-chairs) instead give a minor private reprimand of Prabhakaran, and then get on with kissing his hand in the name of peace. Is this the peace that the Norwegians hoped to bring to Sri Lanka? Is it this kind of moral bankruptcy and duplicity that Mark Salter and his ilk are standing up for and defending?

Mark Salter knows very well that the LTTE decapitated people on stage in front of TV sets, and ruthlessly eliminated all discussion or political dissent among the Tamils. Salter knows that the rightful Tamil leaders were assassinated by the LTTE high command, and killed more Tamils than all the government offensives put together. Mark Salter knows that the LTTE recruited children by force to its ranks, and ran orphanages to train Black Tigers (suicide cadre). Salter knows how the LTTE cut off the hands of people who participated in elections that the LTTE had attempted to enforce a boycott. Salter knows how the LTTE carried out virtually daily suicide bombings in Sri Lankan public places, targeting civilians. Salter knows that the LTTE got rid of its own wounded soldiers by burning them after packing them into shell-shattered buses. The wounded were possibly alive, but the LTTE considered that wounded soldiers are a liability to them retreating to Nandhikadal. The Norwegians and the co-chairs also knew all this quite well.

The ISIS is to the Middlle East what the LTTE was to Sri Lanka, and to the many silent Tamils who lived under them, unlike Sampanthan, Sumanthiran, Wigneswaran and others who lived in Colombo, and did not have the moral courage to denounce the Tigers, even though they enjoyed the protection of the Colombo government. It is a shame that there are journalists like Mark Salter who come forward to write in defence of the indefensibly immoral position of the Norweigians. Fortunately, by his writings, we begin to see the mind-set of people like Mark Salter. It is only then that we can understand the recent pronouncement of the Canadian lawyer Paul Copeland in regard to Ravishankar Kanagarajah (known under other names as well). The recent question has been how he was granted Canadian citizenship while also being wanted by the Interpol for engaging in terrorist activities for the LTTE ( The case of Ravishankar is NOT an isolated one. There are many thousands of such people from Sri Lanka with a terrorist past, with their names and identities changed, and adding false statistics to the "missing persons" list in Sri Lanka.

Norway, Britain, Canada, Germany and others countries have become havens of such individuals who worked for the LTTE. Their power, and the wealth of the LTTE organizations in many swing-electorates in these western countries have given them a handle on these governments. Their envoys follow policies that are not based on the principles of justice, but on the need to get votes. The role of the Tamil vote in the UK too was confirmed by a Wikileaks cable in regard to the British politician Miliband who came to Sri Lanka at the last stages of Eelam-IV to save Prabhakaran by twisting Rajapaksa's arm.

Can you imagine a Miliband or a Kouchner going to save Bin Laden or Pol Pot? And can you imagine a Mark Salter coming forward, throwing all moral qualms to the wind, to defend such actions by saying that "redoubled efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table" were the needs of the hour?

Bodhi Dhanapala,



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