UNP wanted to give radio equipment to LTTE – WikiLeaks
Another Wikileaks cable released today by Oslo-based newspaper- Aftenposten reveals that in 2002 the then UNP Government had requested Norwegian assistance in the importation of radio equipment for the LTTE in a bid to give legal recognition to the “Voice of the Tigers”.
The US embassy cable said for their part, the Norwegians, who have largely kept mum in public, had told them that they were only working to further the peace process at the request of the Sri Lankan Government. Norwegian Ambassador Westborg told them that the Sri Lankan Government had specifically requested his Embassy´s assistance several months ago. The Government of Norway only agreed to help if the equipment was provided to the Peace Secretariat — and not directly to the LTTE. Press reporting to the effect that the Norwegian government was out to assist the LTTE by undermining GSL authority was an outright falsehood, he emphasized. The Cable also relates how the equipment was brought down and handed over to the LTTE. The equipment in question was brought into Colombo harbour in a shipping container. Because the consignment was for the Norwegian Embassy, no duty was paid.
The Norwegian Embassy had confirmed that it turned the consignment over to the Government’s Peace Secretariat, which then passed the items over to the LTTE with the assistance of the Defence Ministry. At some point in this process, the LTTE´s radio station, the ““Voice of the Tigers,” was legalized by the Government as a private entity and given permission to broadcast.
Some press reports state that the FM-upgrade equipment cost about 90,000 US Dollars and that the equipment was bought in Singapore. It is not clear what range the new equipment will allow the Voice of the Tigers to have. The Indian government reportedly has expressed concerns to the Sri Lankan Government that the equipment will allow LTTE broadcasts to reach Tamil Nadu.