Sinhala nationalists demonstrate against British official

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 November 2000, 17:46 GMT]
Hundreds of Sinhala nationalists demonstrated outside the British Council building in Colombo around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon as the visiting Foreign Office Minister Mr. Peter Hain attended a seminar to deliver a speech on the topic "British Policy on Devolution and the Northern Ireland Peace Process".

The demonstration organised by the far-right Sihala Urumaya (SU) was led by Tilak Karunaratne, MP and the leader of the party.

Demonstrators shouted slogans denouncing foreign governments' involvement in finding a solution to the island's conflict.

Last week hundreds of SU supporters, many of them Buddhist monks, picketed outside the Royal Norwegian embassy in Colombo and burnt an effigy of Oslo's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim.

Peter Hain met the Foreign Minister Lukshman Kadigamar, the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister of Constitutional Affairs Prof.G.L.Peries Tueday afternoon.

He met met Mr.Rauff Hakeem, Minister and a Co-Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Wednesday morning. Both had extensive discussions regarding the question of finding an acceptable solution to the ethnic problem.

Mr.Hakeem told the visiting minister that his party would extend its wholehearted co-operation to Norway to bring the warring parties to negotiating table to find a final political solution to the burning problem of the island.

Mr.R.Sampanthan, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front, also met the UK minister and briefed him about the stand of his party.

 

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