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Carl Bildt not wanted in Sri Lanka April 28, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : World politics , add a comment

My last post covered the EUs new involvement in Sri Lanka. Today, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt reports on his blog that the Sri Lankan government har refused to receive him. As a consequence, only his British and French colleagues Millband and Kouchner will be coming on behalf of the EU. According to Bildt, UN representative John Holmes has expressed disappointment. He also says that it “will affect bilateral relations” and that Sweden will recall its Charge d’Affairs “for consultations”. Diplomat language for “we’re annoyed and don’t want to play with you for a while.”

No reason has been given for the refusal, but I can hardly see how it can be a positive sign for the Sri Lanka situation.

The EU goes in with force in Sri Lanka April 26, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : World politics , 6comments

eusrilanka

Norway’s role as peace broker in Sri Lanka seems pretty much played out after Norwegian police failed to prevent damage to the Sri Lankan embassy in Oslo on the hands of Tamil protesters. The Sri Lankan government has reputedly declared Norway unwanted in the process.

But according to Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt’s blog, he is going to Sri Lanka to try and handle the humanitarian situation – together with French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and their British counterpart David Milliband. It’s a real show of force from EU to apply pressure on the parts of the conflict to refrain from further bloodshed. It may also be a sign that the EU is really serious about its role as a global peace broker with  a different focus than that of the US.

The Tamil Tigers (LTTE) have according to various media already asked for a cease fire, but the Sri Lankan government has rejected it, demanding a complete surrender.