Sri Lanka unfazed by donor condemnation

COLOMBO, Nov 22, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s government was Wednesday undeterred in its battle against Tamil Tigers, despite heavy criticism dished out to the warring parties after a key international donor meeting. “Even more impatient than us, we believe, are the different people of Sri Lanka. They are suffering from this present atmosphere of fear,” Solheim said, citing “disappearances” and civilians getting caught in crossfire. On Tuesday major donors engaged in efforts to end Sri Lanka’s civil war condemned the government and Tamil rebels alike for human rights abuses and systematic violations of a 2002 ceasefire.

Senior diplomats from the United States, European Union, Japan and Norway issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the ongoing fighting they said had led to “significant loss of life and widespread human rights violations”.

But Sri Lanka’s Minister for Policy Planning and government spokesman on defence-related matters, Keheliya Rambukwella, said the quartet, known as co-chairs, issued no strictures against the government here.

“It was rumoured that the co-chairs were going to come down hard on the government,” Rambukwella said. “Nothing of the sort happened.”

He also insisted the i