Britain uses Hikkaduwa confab to flay Sri Lanka



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By Shamindra Ferdinando


The government yesterday accused the UK of pursuing an anti-Sri Lanka agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).


Authoritative government sources said that State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire lambasted Sri Lanka at the final session of the Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF) held at Chaaya Tranz, Hikkaduwa.


Sources alleged that the Commonwealth Foundation had invited MP Swire to address the gathering at the closing ceremony after Sri Lanka opposed a move to bring in Canadian MP Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Human Rights.


State Minister Swire reiterated allegations of human rights violations and abuses during the war as well as the post-war period, while blaming the government for its failure to implement the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).


Asked whether the government had an opportunity to respond to the British Minister, a spokesperson for the organisers told The Island that there hadn’t been government representatives at the venue. The CPF was meant for the civil society, therefore, the government never expected the Commonwealth Foundation to allow the UK government to use it as platform to disparage Sri Lanka, he said.


While acknowledging post-war development, the British Minister stressed that the government had failed to address international concerns as regards accountability issues.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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