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Young Gaddafi hated 'British, drank water from a finger bowl'

Muammar Gaddafi hated the 'ugly British' since his youth and was so 'unworldly' that he drank water from a finger bowl during a state occasion as he did not know what it was for, according to a university dissertation.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2011 08:05 IST

Muammar Gaddafi hated the 'ugly British' since his youth and was so 'unworldly' that he drank water from a finger bowl during a state occasion as he did not know what it was for, according to a university dissertation.

Former Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who defected to Britain, wrote the 226-page dissertation -- 'The Political Leader And His Social Background, Muammar Gaddafi, The Libyan Leader' -- 30 years back when he was studying at Michigan State University in the US to earn a master's degree.

The study on Gaddafi, uncovered now, gives a crucial insight into the Libyan leader's mindset and reveals vital clues about the source of his hatred of the West and in particular the British, linking this animosity to a previously unknown visit to London at height of the swinging Sixties.

Gaddafi, who was sent to England in 1966 to complete his military training, claims that during his four-month stay he was insulted by the British Army officers whom he accused of 'oppressing' him for days, the Daily Mail reported.

The papers also reveal how Gaddafi's table manners during a state occasion caused acute embarrassment -- as he drank the water from a finger bowl as he didn't know what it was for -- and that he was once a sex symbol in Sri Lanka.

Gaddafi told Koussa: 'We met a British major of Norwegian origin. He represented to us the typical ugly British colonialist. He asked many questions concerning our national feelings.'

Koussa's interviews with Gaddafi took place in 1977 and 1978 when he was unknown to the Libyan leader and had to rely on wealthy family connections to secure privileged access to him in order to complete his dissertation.