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Colombo rejects British Special Envoy

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 February 2009 21:56 No Comment]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has rejected the appointment of a Special Envoy to Sri Lanka by the British Prime Minister on Thursday. Mr. Bogollagama was quoted by the AFP as saying that the British move was tantamount to "an intrusion into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs" and was "disrespectful to the country’s statehood. Earlier, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a parliamentary committee that he had asked former defence secretary, Des Browne, to be an envoy for Sri Lanka.

Bogollagama further said that the Sri Lankan government saw Browne’s appointment as a unilateral move by London and decided not to accept him.

Mr. Des Browne is a senior Labour MP from Scotland. He held the post of Defence Secretary between May 2006 and October 2008 and concurrently held the post of Secretary of State for Scotland between June 2007 and October 2008.

After being elected to Parliament in 1997, Mr. Browne made his name with strong speeches particularly on Human Rights, Northern Ireland and Social Security, according to his constituency office’s website.

Announcing his decision to appoint Browne, the British PM had said that the important thing was "to emphasise to all partners that without a ceasefire and then an attempt at a political process we will be back to the same problems that we’ve had before."

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