No foreign monitors for eastern polls - Bogollagama

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 April 2008, 19:49 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Thursday that there would be no independent monitoring of the forthcoming elections to the Eastern Provincial Council. Meanwhile, whilst addressing a strategic think tank in London earlier this week, Mr. Bogollagama was challenged by the Times newspaper over his government’s bar on foreign media, a statement issued Thursday by the British Tamil Forum, an expatriate lobby group, said.

Mr. Bogollagama met with the Liberal Democratic Party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Edward Davey MP, and confirmed that no independent election monitors have been invited to oversee the polls the BTF learnt.

Mr. Davey had told Mr. Bogollagam that the “credibility and legitimacy of any election depended on the presence of observers - be they from the EU or the Commonwealth”.

Mr. Bogollagama apparently agreed to take that message back to Colombo.

“It is worth noting that the Party in Government, which the Foreign Minister represents is contesting these ‘elections’ jointly with an armed paramilitary group called the Tamil Makkal Viduthali Pulikal (TMVP) which is widely blamed for various killings, abductions and human rights violations,” the BTF said in its statements.

“The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which currently holds the majority of the Tamil constituencies (22 seats) in the Sri Lankan Parliament is boycotting the so called ‘elections’,” the BTF pointed out.

In his meeting with Mr. Davey, Mr. Bogollagama had defended Colombo’s decision to abrogate the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) as the agreement “was flawed and favoured the LTTE.”

Commenting on Mr. Bogollagama’s assertion, the BTF said any responsible government would re-negotiate a flawed agreement rather than unilaterally abrogating it.

The BTF statement noted British Foreign Minister Lord Malloch Brown, commenting on the unilateral abrogation of the CFA by Colombo had said: “There can be no military solution to the conflict. It is vital now that the Government lives up to its commitment to address the grievances of Tamil people”

“However, the Sinhala leadership has a long history of signing agreements with Tamil leaders and then, at a more suitable time, tearing these up on the basis these no longer suit its [Colombo’s] interests,” a BTF official told reporters in London.

“Not one agreement over the past fifty years has lasted because there is no will in the south to deal with the Tamil people as equals. Agreements are struck to serve tactical interests, for example to escape international pressure, and when an opportunity presents itself, every Sinhala leadership dumps its commitments to the Tamils. The CFA is no exception.”

At a separate event two days ago at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, Mr. Bogollagama was asked by Richard Beeston, Foreign Editor of The Times, why the authorities were not allowing foreign correspondents to travel to Sri Lanka, if as the minister had insisted Colombo wanted to engage with the international community and hold free and transparent elections.

The minister had stated that apart from two districts, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi, foreign media were allowed to visit other areas of Sri Lanka.

However, Mr. Beeston had said that this was not the experience of The Times, which had had several visa applications for its journalists blocked by the Sri Lankan authorities. Other Western media has reported similar experiences.


Latest 15 Reports
22.06.18 13:20   Photo
Colombo's TID wants to interrogate Tamil journalist from Batticaloa
21.06.18 16:24   Photo
Jaffna Tamil fishers mobilise against southern poaching, expose conduct of SL police
20.06.18 11:52  
Wigneswaran's secretary accuses SL Presidential Secretariat of dodging land release in North
19.06.18 18:33   Photo
SL military stationed in 6,275 acres of public and private lands in Vaakarai, Batticaloa
18.06.18 23:05  
Occupying SL Police in Jaffna again blamed for dodging action on criminal policemen
17.06.18 23:51   Photo
SL policemen fire to kill Tamil man at Church premises in Mallaakam, Jaffna
16.06.18 20:31  
US naval, seismic partnerships with genocidal Sri Lanka bring miseries to Eezham Tamils in Trincomalee
15.06.18 21:07   Photo
Swiss ruling, a precedent-setting victory for Right of Self-Determination oriented freedom fighters
14.06.18 20:03  
Only an international investigation would establish truth on enforced disappeared
13.06.18 22:37   Photo
Colombo schemes Sinhala military-led industrialisation of KKS exploiting geopolitics
12.06.18 19:49   Photo
Mannaar mass grave could be from early 1990s, shocking details emerge
11.06.18 14:38  
Sirisena yet to revoke Gazette notification of Colombo's seizure of Champoor lands
10.06.18 19:14  
Tamil families caught in dilemma of transferring lands in Seruvila, Trincomalee
09.06.18 19:04  
SL military attempts to rout out Tamil shop owners in Ampaa'rai village
08.06.18 18:17  
131 Sinhala Buddhist installations crop up in North after 2009: NPC
Find this article at: