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Sri Lankan snub to Swedish envoy

[BBC, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 08:40 No Comment]

_45708803_003140445-1 Sri Lanka has refused entry to Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was to have joined a European mediating mission, Mr Bildt has said.

Mr Bildt had been expected to arrive on Wednesday with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French counterpart Bernard Kouchner.

 

No reason has yet been given for the refusal by Sri Lanka.

 

However Sri Lanka has had tense relations with the Scandinavian former monitors of its peace process.

 

Ceasefire pressure

In his blog, Mr Bildt said he had been told by Colombo that he would not be received as part of the European team and that he had been given no explanation.

 

Mr Miliband and Mr Kouchner have not been excluded.

 

The diplomatic mission is part of international efforts to put pressure on Sri Lanka to call a ceasefire in the north-east, where the army is battling Tamil Tiger rebels.

 

The military has restricted the rebels to a small stretch of land and believes final victory is near.

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