Bitter with West, Sri Lanka turns East for cash and support

May 4, 2009 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan government is increasingly tilting towards Iran, Libya and China for foreign aid as its traditional Western allies ramp up their criticism of the war against Tamil rebels. Many Western nations have outlawed the Tamil Tigers and cut off their funding networks, but the Colombo administration is deeply upset over repeated calls from the United States and the European Union for a truce.

President Mahinda Rajapakse believes he is on the verge of victory over Tamil separatists after 37 years of fighting, and he fears that nations such as Britain, France and the US could throw a lifeline to the rebels.

“Never did history unmask the hypocrisy and the sanctimony of the Western powers than (it has in) their behaviour towards Sri Lanka during recent times,” the defence ministry said on Sunday, without naming specific countries.

Rajapakse himself vowed last week that he would not bow to outside pressure for a ceasefire, and lashed out at what he regards as Western interference.

“They are trying to preach to us about civilians. I tell them to go and see what they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said in a speech.

Historically, Sri Lanka has had close link