again scuttles EU moves against LTTE
From Neville de Silva in London
Norway once again worked overtime to undermine Sri Lanka's diplomatic
thrust to have the European Union take effective action against
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
insiders said that Norway's lobbying caused the EU's Specialist
Group of officials who met last Wednesday to put off for further
discussion Sri Lanka's case against the Tigers for violating international
law, resorting to terrorism and violence and raising funds in EU
countries for terrorist activities.
Britain, now leading the EU as its rotating president, is said to
have been well briefed with background information on the LTTE's
activities including in the UK, doubts are being raised in Asian
and African diplomatic circles whether London adequately presented
the case placed before the EU.
Brussels sources say that Norway was working backstage to sabotage
any immediate discussion on the issue using other Nordic countries
to do its work.
"You know how it is here," said a Brussels bureaucrat
dismayed at the machinations of Oslo and other Nordic neighbours.
"All you want is one country to say we cannot decide anything
without further discussion and the whole thing ends up in the attic."
it next comes out for a dusting, it is long past the expiry date,"
the Brussels insider said. Meanwhile, a Brussels-based diplomat
known to this correspondent for many years, said that Britain had
been applying the brakes as well.
put it this way. The EU president's heart was not in it. And when
the president is not keen to push a matter that some wrongly perceive
as not materially important to the region, that is what you get.
If you want justice don't ever come to Brussels."
why he thought UK is pussyfooting when Tony Blair is keen to push
through a tough anti-terrorism resolution at the UN this month,
the veteran diplomat said:
you really looking for principle and consistency in diplomacy. See
what Tony Blair is doing over Cyprus and Turkey. Cyprus is in the
Commonwealth, Britain has interests there but now Blair is ready
to sacrifice the interests of Cyprus to get Turkey into the EU and
more. Heard of divide and rule," the diplomat asked trenchantly.
Brussels-based European diplomat speaking on conditions of anonymity
drew attention to a statement made on Friday by the EU's Commissioner
for External Relations Benita Ferraro-Waldner in India where she
reportedly said referring to the call for action against the LTTE:
is a decision for member states to take. We have to keep all channels
open at this crucial time." "That, my friend, is the voice
of Norway speaking. That is the Oslo line. Take my word before long
the Norwegians or some European state will invite the LTTE to send
a delegation to study how the Swiss make chocolates or how the Swedes
catch fish. Then they will be let loose in the continent and that
will be the end of Sri Lanka's case as the terrorists conduct diplomacy
fascist style," the diplomat said.