World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Naseby faults British govt. for backing US resolution on SL

Naseby faults British govt. for backing US resolution on SL
April 5, 2012, 9:40 pm


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Lord Naseby

Veteran British lawmaker, Lord Naseby, PC, yesterday disapproved of the UK government’s support for the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the recently concluded United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

Addressing the media at Colombo Hilton, Naseby said that he was disappointed over the British government’s decision to back the resolution adopted on March 22, though the UK wasn’t a member of the 47-member council.

When The Island pointed out that the UK had gone to the extent of calling for UN intervention for a regime change in Sri Lanka, Naseby acknowledged that it was wrong on the part of the British to take that position.

Naseby addressed the media ahead of a scheduled meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Over the past two to three weeks, Naseby, a member of the House of Lords of the UK parliament and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, has visited several parts of the country, including Jaffna, Hambantota and Galle, where he met both civilians and the civil society members.

Deported Tamils safe at home

Naseby quoted British High Commissioner, John Rankin, as having told him that none of the 400 Tamils of Sri Lankan origin, who had returned to Northern Province from the UK over the past 12 months had any problem with the government. He emphasised that the British High Commission had received just one complaint from a person regarding a domestic issue, though the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and the British Tamil Forum (BTF) among other interested parties claimed that those returning to post-war Sri Lanka were being harassed.

Lord Naseby said that there was absolutely no basis for claims by a section of the British press that the lives of returnees were at risk. He stressed that there was no evidence on ground to indicate persecution of the returnees.

Diaspora an obstacle to reconciliation

Faulting the UK based Tamil community for not investing at least in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Naseby said that he was deeply disappointed over the attitude of the diaspora. He accused both GTF and BTF of being obstacles to post-conflict reconciliation, categorising them as huge problems.

Naseby said that while touring Jaffna he had run out of visiting cards. Offering photocopies of visiting cards to journalists at the onset of the media briefing, a smiling Naseby said that he had distributed some 70 visiting cards in Jaffna alone. Naseby has headed the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka since 1975, barring five years, when he was the Deputy Speaker.

Naseby stressed that as friends of Sri Lanka, members of the group reserved the right to criticise the GoSL. Naseby had first visited Sri Lanka way back in 1962 as the senior representative of the Reckitt and Colman Group. He said that he had been to Colombo shortly after the Army regained Kilinochchi in the first week of January 2009. He was amazed by the transformation of the City and its suburbs since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. The City was clean and beautiful, he said, while calling the change incredible.

Naseby said that he was able to meet a 17-member group of Sri Lankan lawmakers on Wednesday (4) in Parliament.

Development work impressive

Contrary to reports critical of the GoSL, the British MP said that since the conclusion of the conflict a tremendous amount of work, including infrastructure development, had been done. He expressed satisfaction that the Northern Province had been connected to the national grid. HE commended the government and foreign de-mining groups, including British HALO for ongoing efforts.

While pointing out that HALO alone had deployed 700 de-miners, Naseby said that a section of the international community didn’t realise the difficulties experienced by the GoSL in tackling post-war issues. Recalling his experience as an internally displaced person during the Luftwaffe assault on London during World War II, Naseby said that the GoSL had successfully coped with the challenging task of looking after over 300,000 war displaced under difficult circumstances. Naseby asserted that such a large number of war displaced could have overwhelmed any government, though only some 6,000 remained at Sri Lanka’s largest IDP facility at Menik farm today.

Muslim IDPs need assistance

Commenting on the plight of those Muslims chased out of the Northern Province by the LTTE in 1990, Naseby said that the government needed to take further measures to alleviate their sufferings. "I intend to discuss this issue with President Rajapaksa," he said, suggesting that the GoSL should explore ways and means of securing the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Naseby proposed that the GoSL should amend the existing agreement with the UNHCR, which dealt with those affected on the Vanni front during eelam war IV.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news