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* Sri Lanka protests British Foreign Secretary addressing Global Tamil forum
Wed, Feb 24, 2010, 07:59 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka strongly protested British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's address today at the inugural meeting of Tamils from all over the world that campaign for self-determination in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama summoned the Acting British High Commissioner in Colombo Mark Gooding to the Foreign Ministry today to express Sri Lanka's protest against Miliband's opening speech to the Global Tamil Forum in London today.

The Foreign Minister pointing out to Gooding that GTF is an umbrella organization of several LTTE front organizations based mostly in the western countries said the Foreign Secretary Miliband's participation would give credibility to an LTTE propaganda organization.

The British Foreign Secretary would be acting in a manner inimical to the national interest of Sri Lanka and its legitimate government, Bogollagama said.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth office defended Miliband's address to the GTF, which may further harm the already crossed relations with Sri Lanka, said the UK believes that the only way to achieve lasting and equitable peace in Sri Lanka is through genuine national reconciliation.

Minister Bogollagama further noted that the GTF was formed in order to launch the so called "Provisional Trans-National Government of Tamil Eelam", and hence poses a 'direct threat' to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

Bogollagama asked the Acting High Commissioner to convey that he urged Foreign Secretary Miliband to change his decision to address the GTF Meeting today in London, if the Foreign Secretary is genuinely interested in supporting the legitimate government elected by the people of Sri Lanka to achieve peace and reconciliation among all communities.

Defending Miliband's address to the GTF, which may further harm the already crossed relations with Sri Lanka, the spokesman of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka said Miliband will re-emphasise that a peaceful, political solution is the only way to produce a lasting answer to Sri Lanka's conflict.

The Foreign Minister urged the British Government to encourage the Sri Lankan Diaspora to give up the LTTE's monolithic separatist agenda and to work constructively with the Sri Lankan government towards an inclusive peace. The non-participation of Foreign Secretary Miliband in today’s GTF meeting in London would be the best way to convey this message, he noted.

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