Despite LTTE being listed as a terror organisation:
Norway gives terrorists the thumbs up!
In a publicity stunt to sustain its diminishing 'glory' and as a
means of propaganda fund raising, the LTTE rump printed its latest set
of mock stamps with offensive material, in Norway - a country which had
always been sympathetic to the terror group.
Norwegian stamps depicting LTTE symbols and its leader were preceded
by similar postal stamps in Germany, UK and France. The first batch
originated as far back as in May 2011. Nevertheless, the European postal
services seem to be surprisingly slow in 'shutting the stable door' and
alerting their officials to the impending possibility.
The actions of the postal services warrant the pertinent question,
what if and how they would react if the offensive stamps in question
depicted Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar or a person of
the same repute - someone averse to the Western world.
The Norway like the other countries did issue an apologetic letter,
in response to a letter of strong protest by the Sri Lankan Ambassador
in Oslo Rodney Perera. But the tone of the letter did little to convince
that they indeed regretted what has happened.
The letter signed by Director, Posten Norge, Halvor Fasting on behalf
of their CEO read, "All orders for personalised stamps are checked by us
and we will not produce subjects that are "illegal, improper or
Unfortunately, this order we did not initially perceive as
Norway has not perceived to print the face of the leader of one of
the most ruthless terrorist organisations, LTTE, identified by none
other than the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US, as one
of the most dangerous terror outfits in the world before it was
decimated by Sri Lankan forces, as problematic.
Mock stamps of the LTTE
It further said, "We regret of course that in this case, we have
delivered personal stamps with offensive content."The German postal
service too 'regretted' the error. They said the stamps were 'not a part
of the official philatelist program of Germany, nor are they on sale or
display in German post offices'.
LTTE is not banned in Norway but the organisation remains a listed
terror group within the European Union.
A foreign Ministry senior official said they have begun a diplomatic
campaign to alert the postal services of foreign states where diaspora
sections sympathetic to LTTE is concentrated. "We are also concerned
since the personalised stamps issuance is an attempt to raise funds
intended to revive the fallen outfit.
The other motive is propaganda related," the official said. She said
the Ministry via its missions has already sent communications to Canada,
USA, Australia, South Africa and others where the LTTE activities are
The mock LTTE stamps depicted, the photo of Prabhakaran, Niyangala
flower (flame lily), Atikukula (Greater coucal), Tiger, the LTTE logo
and the Eelam map in different formats. According to the French
Ambassador who confided in the External Affairs Minister, after being
summoned on the matter, the French postal service has issued 10,000 LTTE
stamps in three batches. In other countries there has been less numbers.
The countries have assured the Sri Lankan Government that they will
not permit any re-prints of the offensive stamps.
Executive Vice President, of the Deutsche Post Dr. Rainer Wend said
'Deutsche Post has exercised technical precautions to block the produced
stamps and to prevent their usage as postage,' while adding that they
have taken additional measures to prevent further abuse of the
customisation service by the LTTE elements. However, there seem to be no
law governing or that dictate punishment to those who abuse their postal
services, even if the actions are related to terrorist activities.