Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » General Topics » Sri Lanka Latest News




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The British problem
 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:46 pm 
British mediation bid runs into stormy weather

"The British create a problem and come back saying they have solution!"

Image

PK Balachandran
Colombo, May 08, 2007
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times


British mediation bid runs into stormy weather Britain's bid to mediate between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE has run into stormy weather. There are enough indications that the Rajapaksa government will eventually bow to nationalist pressure and keep the British at bay in a diplomatic way.

As the Sri Lanka Patriotic Front led by the Buddhist monk Elle Gunawanse demonstrated in front of the British High Commission in Colombo on Tuesday, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Wimal Weerawansa made a thundering speech in parliament asking the government and the people of Sri Lanka to ask the British to stay off Sri Lanka.

He charged that historically, Britain had been driven by the policy of Divide and Rule and that it was Britain which had driven a wedge between the Sinhalas and Tamils to be able to rule Sri Lanka.

"The British create a problem and come back saying they have solution!" Weerawansa said.

The JVP leader was particularly harsh on the British Parliamentary Group led by the Labour MP of Indian origin Keith Vaz, which had said that it planned to get the LTTE's political leader SP Tamilselvan to come to London and address the British parliament. The group's bid to send a delegation to Sri Lanka should be thwarted, Weerawansa said.

Labour MP Vaz's bid to get the British government to lift the ban on the LTTE has angered the Sinhala majority and anti-LTTE Tamils. The Sri Lankan government has not formally reacted to the British Parliamentary Group's plans, but Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohana said that there was no need for one more foreign inspection team. "We already have enough and more international mechanisms to study the humanitarian situation here. There is no room for more," he told Hindustan Times.

The government has drawn comfort from the fact that at the May 2 debate on Sri Lanka in the House of Commons, Conservative MPs and government minister Kim Howells had not supported Vaz's plea for lifting the ban on the LTTE imposed in 2001.

Lankan press flay Vaz

Meanwhile, kingpin Vaz has come under attack from the Sri Lankan press. The state-owned Daily News devoted a whole page on Tuesday to articles from the British media exposing Vaz's misdeeds as an MP in 2001-2002. Among those featured were a February 2002 BBC report about how he mislead parliament on his financial relations with the Hindujas.

The Independent dubbed Vaz as the "Nabob of Networking" and said that Vaz never undersold his self importance. But he had to quit the government and never got his Minister's post back despite having the backing of Tony Blair.


© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times


Top 
  
 
 Post subject: Sri Lanka shrugs off British aid freeze
 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:53 pm 
Sri Lanka shrugs off British aid freeze

A freeze on foreign aid to Sri Lanka was announced by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development Gareth Thomas last week.

08 May 2007
@ LBO


May 7, 2007 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Monday shrugged off Britain's suspension of debt relief to the island, saying the amount of money was "too insignificant" to worry about.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama declined to discuss the move to stop nearly three million dollars in aid, but said it was "wrong" for London to hold back money pledged following the 2004 tsunami.

A freeze on foreign aid to Sri Lanka was announced by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development Gareth Thomas last week.

A British High Commission spokesman said Britain's debt relief to Sri Lanka this year was three million pounds (5.9 million dollars), but half of it was being withheld because of rights concerns.

"How much of aid are we talking about... three million dollars," Bogollagama told reporters here.

"It is too insignificant for us to bother (about). Let us look at it in the context of total aid portfolio."

Britain's parliament last week discussed Sri Lanka's drawn-out Tamil separatist conflict with members from both sides of the house criticising Colombo for its rights record.

"The high commissioner (in Colombo) urged the Sri Lankan government to respond to and address our concerns," Thomas said in London Wednesday.

"Further debt relief payments cannot be made until that happens." More than 700 people have "disappeared" in the past year and security forces and paramilitary units have been accused of extra-judicial killings, abductions and extortion in this former British colony.

Britain supports Norwegian-backed peace efforts which began unravelling from December 2005 when the Tamil Tigers and government forces began their latest wave of fighting, ignoring a truce put in place in February 2002.

More than 4,800 people have been killed in fighting since December 2005, according to Sri Lanka's defence ministry.

Britain has banned the Tamil Tigers since 2001 and has stepped up moves to block foreign funding for the guerrillas, while at the same time mounting pressure on Colombo to clean up its rights record.


Top 
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 

Board index » General Topics » Sri Lanka Latest News


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: