In a comment in The daily newspaper 12 March claims commentator Jo Moen Bredeveien that I feed on the distrust many people feel towards the Sami population, because I have advocated that there should be equality before the law and that no one in Norway should have special rights.
It is a claim that Bredeveien has no basis for asserting.
During my more than two years as Minister of Agriculture, I had the pleasure of getting to know reindeer herding and Sami culture well. I have the greatest respect for culture and it is a national responsibility to take care of it.
FRP is against special rights, but of course not the Sami people. I was also very clear about that in my speech.
The FRP believes that Norwegian politicians have a responsibility to take care of all the inhabitants of our country, both the Sami population and the rest of the population. It is entirely possible to safeguard Sami culture without having laws which in reality give a minority the opportunity to stop necessary development in Northern Norway.
We have to develop the whole country, and that is more important than ever in the north because of the security political situation following Russia’s invasion of a democratic neighboring country.
My main message in the speech was that we cannot have laws that give better rights to certain groups based on their ethnic origin. Over a long period of time, this has created major conflicts in many local communities, and even within the Sami population there are several people who are negative about the great resistance development faces from the Sami Parliament in particular.
It is the debate that Bredeveien and his colleagues in the capital’s press should be concerned with, instead of making unwarranted attacks on the FRP.
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