Tigers, ‘peace support groups’ et al received Rs. 1,800 m from Oslo


By Shamindra Ferdinando

In the wake of Norway’s admission that it had spent NOK 100 million (over 1,800 million rupees) to support the peace process, it would be pertinent to establish the total amount of funds received by various organizations and individuals to promote peace.

According to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) tender document calling for consultancy services to evaluate Norwegian peace process in Sri Lanka (1997-2009), out of staggering NOK 2.5 b Norwegian Development Cooperation with Sri Lanka, NOK 100 m had been allocated to ‘activities aimed at directly supporting the peace process’, including the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and Peace Secretariats set up by the government and the LTTE.

Government sources say among the recipients of Norwegian funds allocated for ‘activities aimed at directly supporting the peace processes were the National Peace Council, the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, Sri Lanka Press Institute, Peace Secretariat for Muslims, the Sri Lanka government et al.

Sources say the LTTE Peace Secretariat was the largest recipients of Norwegian grants during the peace process.

Responding to a query by The Island, a senior official said that the bulk of Norwegian funding had been made available after the LTTE suspended its participation in direct talks with the government in April 2003. The official alleged that the then government of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe hadn’t at least tried to dissuade Norway from funding the so-called LTTE Peace Secretariat. In spite of the collapse of the peace process, those involved in ‘activities aimed at directly supporting the peace process’ had received mega funds.

Officials said that Norway had been the single largest contributor of funds to the LTTE Peace Secretariat and NGOs involved in the peace initiative.

Sources said that UN agencies, too, had provided funds to the LTTE peace secretariat with the blessings of the then government. The LTTE is alleged to have spent some of the funds to set up a website, which went to the extent of featuring suicide squads with LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

‘The Island’ recently revealed funding received by the NPC, CPA and TI to the tune of Rs 618.33 million from 26 foreign sources and an undisclosed number of unidentified sources. (See page 2)

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