UK to try hand at Lanka mediation
With LTTE attacks intensifying and the Norwegian bid to arbitrate failing, Britain has shown keenness in mediation, reports PK Balachandran.Updated: May 02, 2007 18:10 IST
With the war in Sri Lanka escalating dangerously, and the Norwegian bid to broker peace having failed, indications are that the UK is beginning to show an interest in mediation.
The UK does not intend to push Norway out, but it wants to see how the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE and the Norwegians can be brought together and made to sort out matters before they go completely out of control, informed sources say.
To begin with, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Leslie Craig, will be visiting the LTTE's political headquarters in Kilinochchi on Thursday. The Norwegian Ambassador, Hans Brattskar, will follow him on May 7.
In an apparent bid to pave the way for these moves, High Commissioner Dominic Chilcott got the mission to issue a statement pledging strong support to the Sri Lankan cricket team ahead of the World Cup finals against Australia.
The mission's support had made a great impression on the cricket loving Sri Lankans of South Sri Lanka .
Sources in London told Hindustan Times on Wednesday, that the Labour MP of Indian origin, Keith Vaz, is heading a parliamentary group to look into the Sri Lankan situation and suggest what could be done to kick start the peace process, which is currently all but dead.
Some clergymen of Sri Lankan Tamil origin living in the UK have been working for the substitution of Norway by the UK for some time now.