Sri Lanka's cabinet refused to withdraw its opposition to a UK
Sri Lanka's cabinet refused to withdraw its opposition to a British special envoy [ Friday, 20 February 2009, 05:40.50 AM GMT +05:30 ] Sri Lanka's cabinet refused to withdraw its opposition to a British special envoy despite fresh talks between the two sides on humanitarian crisis, was stated by minister. Ministers who met on Wednesday evening took up the British request to send special envoy Des Browne to assess the unfolding plight of civilians trapped in the island's northeastern war zone, a minister who declined to be named said. "The cabinet rejected the fresh calls to accept the British special envoy on the basis that there had been no prior consultation and that there was no real need for his visit," the minister said.
Sri Lanka's foreign secretary Palitha Kohona confirmed that there was no shift in Colombo's position regarding Browne's nomination by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. "Our position remains unchanged," Kohona told a foreign new agency. The appointment announced last week caused a diplomatic row between London and its former colony. Sri Lanka described the move as "unilateral" and an interference in its internal affairs.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama after the row and said discussions were continuing on the appointment.