Government rejects British special envoy
Conveying the Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday to reject the
appointment of former Defence Secretary Des Brown as a special envoy to
Sri Lanka, the Government yesterday informed Britain their unilateral
decision was in breach of the accepted principles governing
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the Cabinet in unison
endorsed his application to reject the appointment of Des Brown MP as a
special envoy to Sri Lanka, on the grounds that the Lankan side has not
been properly consulted beforehand, given the sensitivity of the issue.
He said: ”I believe this is an unhelpful initiative in the counter
terrorism activities and also amounts to the intrusion into Sri Lanka’s
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown informed a Parliamentary
Committee of naming a Special envoy to Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Minister Bogollagama said though the role of this special envoy is to
support future development of the country including with regard to
humanitarian aspects, it is learnt that his role is not properly
defined, which was of concern for the Government.
Minister Bogollagama said Japan sought the Sri Lankan Government’s
concurrence when Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi was appointed, though
under different circumstances. And they expected similar courtesy from
Britain which had been a country Sri Lanka had maintained close
bi-lateral ties for a long period.
He said the Government was pursuing a ‘home grown agenda’ in its
counter terrorism move with much success while taking extra measures to
address humanitarian, IDPs and rehabilitation issues. International
community support was critical in making this effort a complete success
and in finding a sustainable solution to its ‘national issue’.
He said the Government appreciated the initiative by the US to ban
another LTTE front organisation, the Tamil Foundation based in Maryland
and freeze its assets adding that this was the kind of support it
expected from the international community in its fight against