Norwegian peace team delays flight
By Chris Kamalendran
A SriLankan Airlines flight to New Delhi from Colombo on Thursday
night was delayed after an undeclared revolver was found in the
possession of the Norwegian peace delegation led by International
Development Minister Erik Solheim.
weapon had not been declared on their arrival to the country, prompting
SriLankan Airline officials to clarify with the Civil Aviation Authority
whether the weapon could be taken out of the country.
airlines’ Communications Manager, Chandana de Silva, said
the flight was delayed because the Norwegian delegation did not
have the required documentation to carry the weapon. He said that
on arrival, the delegation had declared only one weapon, but on
departure, they had two weapons.
Mr. de Silva said that airline officials had contacted the CAA Director
General H.M.C. Nimalasiri to seek clarification whether permission
had been granted to carry the extra weapon.
Nimalasiri told The Sunday Times last night that he ‘could
not remember’ the matter, but added that the files pertaining
to the incident were at his office. Norwegian embassy spokesman
Tom Knappskog said, “it is a matter of security” and
he could not elaborate on the issue.
The Norwegian delegation also included the new Peace envoy, Jon
Hanssen-Bauer. After a delay of 20 minutes permission was granted
to the Norwegian peace delegation to carry the additional weapon
they had either obtained in Sri Lanka, or not declared in the first
place upon entry to the country, on the Delhi bound flight UL 123.
the LTTE’s official website Nitharsanam carried a news item
about the Norwegian delegation carrying an additional weapon along
with a picture of a weapon.