Well, we all knew it was a matter of time before we would see a high-powered delegation from Norway coming to our beautiful island to put pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka (SLG) to reverse its decision on not allowing aid to go directly to the LTTE (from foreign donors). This is not what is surprising given what we know about Norwegian's blatantly partial attitude towards the LTTE. Ever since the so called ceasefire agreement that the LTTE struck with the former government led by Ranil W. (i.e. the grand idiot of modern SL), the LTTE has had a free hand in killing hundreds of its opponents and actively recruiting thousands of children into its terrorist army. Despite protests from all sections, including grieving Tamil parents and Tamil democratic parties, these actions have been ignored by the Norwegians and their handpicked stooges in SL, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).

What is surprising is how very smoothly the Norwegians appear to have pulled in this victory for the LTTE.

It now appears that the overbearing and aggressive, smooth talking, Jan Petersen, (Norwegian foreign minister) was able to bowl a couple of deft googlies to totally stump our SLG honchos. This western smart-aleck, with undoubtedly a motherload of training in the art of assertiveness (which is a dearly admired trait in the West) was able to cut our so called leaders down to a size that's to his liking. Our leaders appear to have meekly replied "yes-sir" to his demands - the principle being that aid must flow directly to the LTTE. This is the same Petersen who not long ago lambasted our President when she rightfully asked for the removal of the former head of SLMM due to his tipping off of a SL Navy operation (designed to intercept a LTTE arms ship) to the LTTE and thereby endangered our national security and more specifically, the lives of Naval personnel involved in that operation. At that time he had the gall to say that she was endangering the ceasefire agreement that SLG has with the LTTE!

It is a pity that our leaders do not have training on how to stand up to aggressors. Our Sinhala culture, closely interwoven to Buddhist teachings, is intrinsically based on courtesy, accommodation, and not openly disagreeing for the fear offending another. This is especially so where a person of white skin is concerned as there is also that inferiority complex, remnant from the colonial era, still lingering with our "old" leaders. What an appalling shame this is and what damage this is afflicting on our nation!

At the meeting that Jan Petersen had with our premier Mahinda Rajapakse, it appear that Petersen basically told Rajapakse what to do. Poor Rajapakse appears to have stepped into out of his depth as there was ney a protest of the consequences of aid going directly to the LTTE.

One wonders whether Rajapakse even thought of (never mind telling Petersen) the concerns, such as the following, to name a few:

LTTE is really after cash donations and donations in any other form that it can conveniently launder back into cash. This cash is desperately needed to replenish the weapons lost due the Tsunami as well as to acquire a greater arsenal for the "final push" as Karuna put it.
It is suicidal to give items such as bulldozers, tractors, etc. to the LTTE as LTTE has a history of converting such machinery into lethal war-machinery. A bulldozer welded with heavy gauge metal sheets and mounted with heavy caliber machine guns (Cannons) can essentially function as a battle tank and as SLA would confirm, such machinery have been used in attacks on SLA installations in the past.
Of course, an unaccounted for and unlimited supply of cement would be a god-send to the LTTE. Such would not only help to repair LTTE's damaged bunkers and other infrastructure in the multitude of camps they hold, but it would also allow the LTTE to build new ones. Neutralizing a single bunker costs our armed forces dearly in terms of lives and material and there are ample lessons to be had from past "clearing" operations into LTTE held areas.

On a positive note, I notice that only the JVP appears to have taken a solid stand against aid going directly to the LTTE and my hats off to them for the wisdom shown. As a key constituent party of the governing coalition, I would urge them to keep the old SLFP guard in check as this clan, in my view, is no better than the former UNP clan that was willing to give 40% of the land and 60% of the coastal line to an armed to the teeth, brutal terrorist group!



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