2ND LEAD

British ex-defence secretary appointed special envoy to Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 February 2009, 15:44 GMT]
Britain named a special envoy to Sri Lanka on Thursday to help bring about a political solution to the island’s long-running conflict and to ease hardships to Tamil civilians trapped in the Vanni warzone, UK press reports said. "I've asked Des Browne, our former defence secretary, to be an envoy for Sri Lanka," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a parliamentary committee. Brown said the priorities were to achieve a ceasefire and to get a political settlement, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake was quoted by the Washington Post as saying the Sri Lankan military’s capture of the Vanni region – which he expects within weeks – will not end the LTTE’s armed struggle and that Colombo must reach a political settlement with the Tamils.

"I want him to be involved in seeing whether there is scope for political progress in Sri Lanka as well as looking at the issues of humanitarian aid," the Prime Minister said of the newly appointed envoy.

"The important thing is 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," Premier Brown said.

Des Browne, who was replaced as defence secretary in a cabinet shuffle last October, will work with the Sri Lankan government, leaders of all communities in Sri Lanka, international agencies and other countries, Reuters quoted a statement from Premier Brown's office as saying.

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.

Meanwhile, in an interview to the Washington Post, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka said the LTTE’s armed struggle would continue until the Tamils have a solution that ensures they have dignity and respect in Sri Lanka and autonomy in the areas where they predominate.

"The point we've made to the government is that once they occupy all the territory in the north, which should be a matter of weeks or less, that will not end the LTTE because the LTTE still has a large number of guerrillas underground that will continue to rely on the support of the Tamil diaspora," Blake said.

"So it will be very important for the government to come forward with a package of political proposals that will really ensure the Tamils of Sri Lanka a position of dignity and respect, and give them some measure of local autonomy in the areas in which they predominate."


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
21.06.18 16:24   Photo
Jaffna Tamil fishers mobilise against southern poaching, expose conduct of SL police
20.06.18 11:52  
Wigneswaran's secretary accuses SL Presidential Secretariat of dodging land release in North
19.06.18 18:33   Photo
SL military stationed in 6,275 acres of public and private lands in Vaakarai, Batticaloa
18.06.18 23:05  
Occupying SL Police in Jaffna again blamed for dodging action on criminal policemen
17.06.18 23:51   Photo
SL policemen fire to kill Tamil man at Church premises in Mallaakam, Jaffna
16.06.18 20:31  
US naval, seismic partnerships with genocidal Sri Lanka bring miseries to Eezham Tamils in Trincomalee
15.06.18 21:07   Photo
Swiss ruling, a precedent-setting victory for Right of Self-Determination oriented freedom fighters
14.06.18 20:03  
Only an international investigation would establish truth on enforced disappeared
13.06.18 22:37   Photo
Colombo schemes Sinhala military-led industrialisation of KKS exploiting geopolitics
12.06.18 19:49   Photo
Mannaar mass grave could be from early 1990s, shocking details emerge
11.06.18 14:38  
Sirisena yet to revoke Gazette notification of Colombo's seizure of Champoor lands
10.06.18 19:14  
Tamil families caught in dilemma of transferring lands in Seruvila, Trincomalee
09.06.18 19:04  
SL military attempts to rout out Tamil shop owners in Ampaa'rai village
08.06.18 18:17  
131 Sinhala Buddhist installations crop up in North after 2009: NPC
07.06.18 13:56   Photo
Encroaching Sinhala monk receives official recognition from SL Archaeology Department
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28394