Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

Exclusive: Experts urge Commonwealth action on human rights

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

[Reuters]

A confidential experts’ report to Commonwealth heads of government, obtained by Reuters, called for wide-ranging reforms that it said are essential if the organization is to make a real difference to improving the lives of its people.

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Britain sold weapons to help Sri Lankan army defeat Tamil Tigers

Monday, June 1st, 2009

[The Times]

Britain and other EU countries sold military equipment worth millions of pounds to the Sri Lankan Government in the last three years of its bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers, The Times has learnt. Britain approved commercial sales of more than £13.6 million of equipment including armoured vehicles, machinegun components and semiautomatic pistols, according to official records. Slovakia provided 10,000 rockets worth £1.1 million, while Bulgaria approved sales of guns and ammunition worth £1.75 million, according to EU documents and officials.

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Help the Tamils now

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

[ The Guardian ]

In Britain, interfering in Sri Lanka’s future is looking like a poisoned chalice. As the burning effigies of “white Tiger” David Miliband on the streets of Colombo last week demonstrated, our help is not always welcome. As an old Whitehall colleague put it to me this week, “we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t, aren’t we?” Mulling this question is not just costing lives, it is burning up goodwill in the Tamil community. Warm words from the Sri Lankan government aside, progress on the ground is slow, with horrific human cost. And more impatient protesters in Parliament Square than ever are eschewing peaceful slogans - and this time they’re directed at the British government, the US and the UN.

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Barbed wire villages raise fears of refugee concentration camps

Friday, February 13th, 2009

[Times Online]

Sri Lanka was accused yesterday of planning concentration camps to hold 200,000 ethnic Tamil refugees from its northeastern conflict zone for up to three years — and seeking funding for the project from Britain.

The Sri Lankan Government says that it will open five “welfare villages” to house Tamils fleeing the 67 sq mile patch of jungle where the army has pinned down the Tamil Tiger rebels.

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Ceasefire urged as 52 killed in Sri Lanka war zone

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[Reuters]

The United States and Britain urged a temporary cease-fire in Sri Lanka to evacuate casualties and allow relief into the war zone as the Island nation celebrates independence from colonial ruler Britain on Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was due to preside at a parade of military might in the capital on Wednesday morning that will include fighter jets flying overhead and attack boats sailing by to mark the 61st independence anniversary. The military was on high alert as troops surround the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a 300-sq-km (115 sq- mile) slice of jungle in the Indian Ocean island’s northeast, aiming to end a war that started in 1983.

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UK Tamils polarised but powerful

Monday, December 8th, 2008

[ BBC ]

For one bitter-sweet moment when he wakes up each morning, Anand believes he is still in Sri Lanka. When a ferocious war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland arrived at his doorstep in 1993, he fled to Britain. “In my dreams, I go to Sri Lanka. I see my mother who is dead now. I see my old job,” he says. As evening draws in he listens to the radio for news of war, a clue as to where his future lies. “I don’t feel British. When the problem is solved I will return.” But exactly how this problem should be solved is where another set of problems for Britain’s close-knit Tamil community begins.

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Rules of war made simple for world military leaders

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

[ Reuters ]

Senior military officers from 50 countries gathered in Geneva Monday to put international humanitarian law into simple language that can be understood in theatres of war worldwide. Top brass from the United States, Britain, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burundi were among those participating in the workshop held in Swiss army barracks near the centre of Geneva. Kellenberger said the ICRC is engaging in confidential dialogue with military leaders around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Chad, and Sri Lanka, as part of its mandate to encourage compliance with international humanitarian law. It also meets non-state armed groups when security permits.

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