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Defeat of LTTE big achievement - David Miliband

Opportunity to take political process forward:

The defeat of the LTTE was a massive achievement by the Sri Lankan Government and none in the British Government would shed any tears for these terrorists, said United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary of State David Miliband when he met Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama who is on a two day visit to the UK.

The time was now opportune to reflect on the basis for rebuilding and reconstructing of the war ravaged areas of Sri Lanka, he added.

Foreign Minister Bogollagama said that the elimination of terrorism from Sri Lanka has paved the way to take the political process forward as well as holistic engagement with the international community and his first visit to the United Kingdom is a part of such a process.

The Minister also briefed his UK counterpart in detail on the situation in the welfare centres. He recalled that after the visit of Foreign Secretary Miliband that the conditions and the functioning of the welfare centres are being consistently reviewed and improved.

Foreign Minister Bogollagama stated that it is the policy of the government to resettle the IDPs for which a program is being initiated termed as 180 days.

Responding to the question on the status of UK's Special Envoy, Minister Bogollagama stated that the position of the Government of Sri Lanka remains unchanged.

Permitting the international network of the LTTE to continue its activities abroad unabated would result in this organization existing in exile and thereby its resurgence cannot be discounted warned Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama when he met UK Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Lord Mark Malloch-Brown in London.

He referred to the many front organisations operating in the UK continuing to espouse the cause of carving out a separate state from the territory of a sovereign nation.

The Minister pointed out the need for the British Government to discourage the Sri Lankan origin community in the UK to pursue such an objective as it has proved to be futile.

He observed that agitating for a separate state was a misnomer on the part of some of the misguided elements of this segment of the community and that with their skills they could seek to give leadership to the North both on the economic and political fronts.

Lord Malloch-Brown pointed out that this component of the diaspora is from the middle class and having a radical agenda, to the point of idealising the terrorist group as a liberation movement.

He agreed to assist in seeking out the Sri Lankan origin community in the UK, in the commencing of a dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka as an important part of the reconciliation process following the defeat of terrorism.

Lord Malloch-Brown acknowledging President Rajapaksa's unique strength and stated that it be seized at this juncture, which he was confident that the Government would take the required action.

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