Prabhakaran was in Oslo

New Delhi, 03 June (Courtesy

Sources fairly close to the LTTE net work disclosed that while the world was making a wild guess as to the where abouts of Prabhakaran after the Tsunami waves hit Northern Sri Lanka, the Tiger chief was spending a ‘quiet holiday’ in Norway. It is said that Norwegians organised his visit to meet the family just two days before Tsunami devastated Vanni specially Mullaithievu and rendered dysfunctional all electronic gear deployed at Vanni.

Norwegian embassy official (from Colombo) visited Killinochchi nine days after the devastation on January 4, 2005 ostensibly to see the damage but to transmit ‘ground situation’ to Prabhakaran through the foreign office in Oslo.

If the sources are to be believed, it was the Norwegians again, who had quietly organised the return to Vanni of Prabhakaran. All along the LTTE peace secretariat kept quiet with not a comment on the media speculation his whereabouts.

The way LTTE chief’s departure and arrival was organised had all the elements of high drama and suspense, sources said. This was not his first visit out of Vanni area though. The first time he left his jungle hideout was shortly before the ceasefire accord was signed in February 2002. Then, as well as now, it was the peace broker who had organised the outward trip, it is said. At that time he was taken to Sweden to help him spend more than four weeks with is wife and children.

Interestingly, Male was the transit point for both the visits, though Maldives government was not in the loop, according to reports in circulation.

Norway’s envoy to Colombo is accredited to Maldives as well and as such Norway used the Male route to take Prabhakaran out and he was offered a ‘diplomatic’ passport on both occasions.

He was flown out by a sea plane from Iranaimadu tank in Killinochchi, located in the midst of the sprawling Vanni jungle located in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. On one occasion he was dressed like a catholic priest to avoid suspicion amongst the Male officials. Norwegian diplomats accompanied to smoothen any rough edges on travel.

While Prabakaran was in Oslo, Norway was told to check its deep throats. Sources confirmed that Prabakaran was given a welcome at the airport similar to that of a head of state and rushed to the official residence of the Prime Minister, Villa Parafina, located at Park Vein 45, Oslo, behind the King’s Palace. His old friend who was given diplomatic assignment on the insistence of Prabakaran when he was thrown out of Red Barna on an allegation of arms running was the official in waiting throughout his stay in Oslo.

Prabhakaran returned to his base camp a few days before January 22 to be in full command of the situation. Anton Balasingham soon joined him from London and helped him to keep up the façade of normalcy.

Shortly afterwards Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, Development Minister Hilde F. Johnson, Vidar Helgesen, Special envoy Erik Solheim, Ambassador Hans Brattskar made a flying visit to Vanni to further the myth about ‘invincibility’ of Tigers.



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