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‘ROLE OF NORWAY’ & ‘NORWAY FURY’- A SUM UP

Shyamon Jayasinghe Melbourne

I read with interest the long and studied piece written by Victor Gunasekera published in your columns today under the rubric ‘Role of Norway’. This is an analysis of Dr. Susantha Gunatilleka’s (SG) presentation at the Oslo conference.

While I appreciate Dr. Peter Gunasekera’s (PG) earlier comments on my “Norway Fury” as a better presentation of my point of view than I was able to make, the comments of Victor Gunasekera (VG) are, perhaps, a more telling vindication of my stance regarding the misguided target that Oslo battlers chose and still choose to attack –namely the Norwegians. This is the central point of my original piece, which has spurred debate in your columns. Why VG is more telling in impact is because he shares the selfsame anti-Norway standpoint like Mahindapala, Soysa, and ilk. PG, on the other hand, is not exactly anti-Norway although he is, understandably, disenchanted with the latter. In my case, I require a rigorous standard of evidence before I can make my own judgement. Sinhalese Buddhists have inherited a legacy of free enquiry (Kalama Sutta), which is the only basis for informed judgement and consequent action.

VG points out that SG’s false assumption that Norway is a ‘colonial intruder’ has led him to a series of ‘curiosities’ (as he puts it) in judgement. In fact, SG is the “Scholar” I have referred to in my piece, who wrote to me making the shocking likeness of the arrival of Norwegians to the coming of the Portuguese! Being a reputed scholar, I cannot imagine that SG believed in what he stated. Is he guilty of propagating a myth in order to fulfil a preconceived agenda? It appears there is another complexity that enters the scenario.

VG concludes, as I had done, that Norway is the false target and that attack, if deemed necessary, must be directed at the government, which has either accepted the Norwegian role or condoned it. He suggests that Solheim and his mates will ask: "Why are these people demonstrating against us. Should they not be demonstrating against their Government? We are there simply because their Government wants us there and if we are asked to go, we will go.” Small wonder that Norway does not react to any of these protests!


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