Sri Lanka state media slams Norway over peace bid

Sept 8, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s peace broker Norway came under a scathing attack from the media here Friday amid diplomatic moves to inject new life to a collapsing ceasefire. The state-run Daily News said Norwegians had “failed” as peacebrokers and took exception to reported remarks from Norwegians that they disagreed on an international crackdown on the rebels.

The paper, which reflects government policy, attacked Oslo envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer’s remarks that he disapproved of Sri Lanka’s policy “to brand the Tigers as terrorists and isolate them internationally.”

“By these naive and irresponsible or perverse and dishonest utterances, the Norwegians have publicly exposed themselves as propagandists of, or apologists for, the LTTE and left no room for doubt that they are not, and never have been, a balanced, genuine or honest facilitator,” the paper said.

The report signed by lawyer S. L. Gunasekera and Gomin Dayasiri, a member of the government’s February peace delegation to Switzerland, accused Oslo of campaigning to block a European Union ban on the Tamil Tigers in May.

“It is common knowledge that the Norwegians strained every nerve, muscle and fibre in their