Lanka rejects Britain's appointment of special envoy to island | world | Hindustan Times
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Lanka rejects Britain's appointment of special envoy to island

world Updated: Feb 13, 2009 17:00 IST
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Sri Lanka on Friday rejected Britain's 'unilateral appointment' of a special envoy to focus on humanitarian situation in the embattled north and help find a lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict, terming it an 'intrusion' in the island's internal affairs.

Former British Defence Secretary Des Browne was appointed by British Premier Gordon Brown as his special envoy to Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Sri Lankan government, however, rejected his appointment, saying it was an interference in its internal affairs.

"Having learnt of the appointment of a special envoy for Sri Lanka being made by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Cabinet of Ministers at a meeting yesterday presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, rejected this unilateral appointment, following a submission made by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama," a Foreign Ministry statement in Colombo said.

"The Government of Sri Lanka categorically states that this appointment is in contravention of the basic principles governing international relations and the requirement for consultation and reciprocity," it said.

The statement said the Cabinet noted that neither proper procedure nor consultations had been undertaken by the British government, "prior to the said appointment which are time honoured traditions in diplomatic practice."