Sri Lanka counters British broadside, envoy summoned

Dec 13, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has expressed displeasure at outspoken remarks by Britain’s envoy on national politics, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday, but it remained silent on charges that politicians were corrupt. “The British High Commissioner, Dominic Chilcott, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express the deep displeasure of the Government of Sri Lanka at some of the comments made by him at a recent public gathering,” a ministry statement said.

It said Chilcott’s remark at a public speech Monday that aspirations by minority Tamil Tiger rebels for a separate state of Tamil Eelam were not illegitimate was unacceptable to the government.

Foreign Ministry Secretary Palitha Kohona expressed the government’s “deep concern” over the remarks.

“(Kohona) stated that this statement was unacceptable to the Government of Sri Lanka given the British government’s categorical rejection of the creation of a separate state in Sri Lanka,” the ministry statement said.

The statement said the British High Commissioner “categorically confirmed” that the UK does not support in any way the establishment of a separate state in Sri Lanka.

“The British High Commissioner by way of explanation