By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Norwegian embassy refrained from responding to serious accusations that a Norwegian or Norwegians of Sri Lankan origin had been involved in an alleged assassination attempt on Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran in January, this year.
Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has alleged that Norway based Tamil diaspora elements conspired to have attorney-at-law Sumanthiran assassinated during a recent visit to the Jaffna peninsula.
The Island efforts to obtain a response from the Norwegian embassy on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were in vain. The diplomatic mission refrained from responding to our emails and those who had been authorized to address media issues weren’t available. The embassy refrained from contacting The Island though the hand phone number of the News Editor was made available.
Norway made an abortive bid to end the conflict here through negotiations in 2002-2006 period before the previous administration eradicated the LTTE in May 2009.
Authoritative police sources told The Island that five former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who had been arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in connection with Sumanthiran assassination probe would be produced in Kilinochchi Magistrate court on February 13. Sources said that all suspects had undergone rehabilitation at military run facilities in the Northern Province in the wake of the successful conclusion of the war in May 2009.
Law enforcement authorities produced the five suspects before Kilinochchi Magistrate and District judge A.A. Anandarajah on January 20. Anandarajah remanded them till Feb 13 pending investigations.
Police swooped down on suspects in the Northern Province and in the eastern Trincomalee district soon after an ex-LTTE cadre who had been allegedly offered money to get involved in the operation, informed authorities about the plot. Acting on information provided by the ex-LTTEer, the police have recovered two claymore mines from the possession of suspects. The police also recovered stock of Kerala ganja.
Targeted MP Sumanthiran told The Island that the alleged attempt on him shouldn’t be considered as an ongoing effort to revive the LTTE under any circumstances.
The US embassy spokesperson told The Island that they didn’t have anything else to be added to recent reports regarding the alleged assassination attempt.
The Australian High Commission declined to comment on the assassination bid on the basis the mission didn’t comment on legal matters.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne told The Island that the ministry was ready to get in touch with foreign governments to facilitate ongoing investigations.
Many an eyebrow has been raised over the government prosecuting the five suspects on charge of possessing explosives and narcotics instead of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Sources told The Island that the recent arrests had taken place at a time the government was engaged with a section of European Union countries to abolish the PTA and other far reaching changes to the Public Security Ordinance.