Sri Lanka demands arrest of suspected Tamil Tiger

Sri Lanka's government has sent out an alert demanding that Norway's government arrest Perinpanayagam Sivaparan, an Oslo-based Tamil, claiming that he is the new leader of the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Sri Lanka demands arrest of suspected Tamil Tiger
Panchakulasingam Kandiah, leader of Norway's National Council of Eelam Tamils, kneeling in front of a tombstone set up outside Norway's to symbolise the killing of Tamils ​​in Sri Lanka. Photo: Heiko
According to an article in the pro-government Sunday Observer newspaper, Sri Lankan police earlier this month issued "red notices", effectively an international arrest warrant, for 40 members of the LTTE, including for Sivaparan. 
Morten Høglund, the incoming State Secretary in Norway's Foreign Ministry, told state broadcaster NRK that the foreign ministry was still evaluating how to respond to the approach. 
So far, Sivaparan's name does not appear on the Interpol database. 
Norway briefly arrested Sivaparan in Oslo in 2011, interviewing  him over his role in financing operations for the LTTE among the Tamil diaspora in The Netherlands and then releasing him on conditional bail. 
But while the five Dutch Tamils were in October 2011 jailed for six months by a court in The Hague for raising money for an organisation on the European Union's banned list, Sivaparan has not been called back by Norwegian police. 
Sri Lanka has been increasing its pressure on its restive Tamil minority this year, at the start of this month claiming to have killed three LTTE activists, in the first gun battle since the long-running civil war in Sri Lanka ended five years ago. 
Sri Lanka's government believes that Tamil activists are trying to revive the LTTE, which waged a 26-year struggle to establish a separate Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka until it was defeated in 2009.

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Envoy wants to testify on Sri Lanka war ‘atrocities’

A top Norwegian peace envoy said he would testify to any international war crimes investigation over "atrocities" committed during Sri Lanka's separatist conflict, a report said on Sunday.

Envoy wants to testify on Sri Lanka war 'atrocities'
Top peace envoy Erik Solheim (L) talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, prior to a meeting in Colombo in 2006. Photo: Sri Lankan Presidency/AFP

Norway's Erik Solheim said he was prepared to give evidence on the final months of Sri Lanka's decades-long war which he had tried but failed to resolve peacefully.

Solheim told a newspaper that atrocities were committed in the final months, including shelling of hospitals in the battle zone and executions of surrendering rebels.

"The war was won at a tremendous cost and I will (act as a) witness before any recognized international tribunal investigating Sri Lanka," Solheim told the local Ceylon Today weekly.

"Such atrocities cannot be buried without conducting investigations into them" he said.

"Time cannot pass on without probing these alleged crimes."  

Solheim, a former international development minister, confirmed the report in an email to AFP.

The UN Human Rights Council in March voted in favour of setting up an international probe to look into allegations that up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final stages of the war, a charge Colombo vehemently denies.

A team of investigators is expected to be named shortly, but Colombo opposes any foreign inquiry.

Solheim's mission was formally aborted by Colombo in April 2009, a month before the end of war between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lanka's war ended after a bloody finale by the military against the rebels fighting for a separate homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority.

Solheim did not give details of any evidence he would provide to an investigation. He said he was aware of a top Tiger leader who tried to surrender during the final stages of the war, but had been killed.

Solheim said he had asked Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in the final four months to accept an "organised end to the war," or a surrender, which could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

"The war could have been solved through peace talks without military action," he said.

Norway was invited to broker peace in Sri Lanka in December 1999. Solheim raised hopes of a peace breakthrough when he announced on November 1, 2000 that the elusive Tiger chief Prabhakaran was serious about talks.

A ceasefire arranged by Norway was torn up after Tamil Tigers tried to assassinate then army chief Sarath Fonseka in April 2006, a move that drew strong retaliatory attacks from government forces.