|Failed peace process: NATO, Norwegian military roles exposed|
| [17.11.2011, 08:43pm, Thu. GMT]|
|Now that Oslo had admitted that the Norway-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) received intelligence from both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), those running the peace process couldn’t have been unaware of LTTE’s preparations for war, Srilankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday.He was commenting on the Norwegian peace evaluation report released in Oslo last Friday.|
"In spite of foreign intelligence services confirming our own assessment regarding LTTE preparations for war, those spearheading the peace process turned a blind eye to the rapidly deteriorating situation," Rajapaksa said.
The Norwegian study quoted SLMM head as having said that RAW only reached them through informal channels, therefore they couldn’t be fully trusted.
"They weren’t giving it to us to be nice. We would always ask ourselves why they want us to know this. Intelligence provided by NATO only confirmed what they already knew," the SLMM Chief was quoted as having said.
However, the Oslo-funded study revealed that the Norwegians had high level meetings in New Delhi with RAW.
The Norwegian-led SLMM comprised men from Scandinavian countries.
The study also cited the SLMM as having alleged that Sri Lanka, the LTTE and India opposed the mission having radar surveillance.
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said that the Norwegian report only proved the failures on the part of those running the peace process.
In fact, the SLMM could reveal the intelligence it had received from NATO or any other regional or global power, the Gajaba veteran said. He said that the failed Sri Lankan peace process should be a case study for the global community.
Commenting on a query attributed to Hanssen Bauer and Brattskar whether the ethnic and political problems in Sri Lanka could be solved by military means for which he was quoted as having said, ‘yes’, the Defence Secretary emphasized that the crisis caused by the LTTE needed a military response. "What really surprised me is that a section of the global community still seems to believe in a political solution to a terrorist problem," Rajapaksa said.
The Defence Secretary pointed out that the report also admitted the Sri Lankan military had been denied an opportunity to take part in substantive negotiations, while Norwegian military experts were involved in ‘military technicalities of de-escalation, advanced positions and front lines.’
Former Navy Commander Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) the step-motherly treatment given to the Sri Lankan military in the run-up to the finalization of the CFA.
The Defence Secretary asserted that the Norwegian revelations had highlighted the need to re-examine the whole process, particularly military and intelligence aspects.
In the light of Norwegian admission of the involvement of its military in the CFA, the issue was whether a third party had access to SLA deployment plans on the northern theatre, Rajapaksa said.
The LTTE’s focus was on the Jaffna frontline extending from Kilali to Nagarkovil through Muhamalai, where the SLA had some of its most experienced fighting formations backed by artillery and armour deployed.