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Report slams British support of Sri Lankan military

A new report has revealed the extent of British support for Sri Lanka and training of the Sri Lankan military over three decades.

The report, authored by Phil Miller, a researcher with Corporate Watch, details the closeness of the British government’s relationship with the Sri Lankan state, including the deployment of mercenaries, training by British officers of Sri Lankan forces and the supply of weapons throughout the conflict with the Tamils.

Miller’s report shows how “British collusion with Sri Lankan security forces throughout the thirty years of genocidal counter-insurgency warfare” resulted in “Sri Lanka’s brazen mass killings of Tamils on the beaches of Mullivaikal in 2009.”

The British relationship with Sri Lanka during the ceasefire and the subsequent outbreak of hostilities is also examined in the report, which says that Britain “contributed politically and militarily to the break-down of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement, by distorting the balance of power in favour of the Sri Lankan government”.

The report says that the British had a policy of “arming one party in a Ceasefire whilst prosecuting the other”, and highlights the ban on the LTTE and arrests of activists, while arms and other military assistance was given to Sri Lanka.

Britain is also said have used its seat on the UN Security Council to prevent Sri Lanka from being put on their agenda, during the final onslaught on the Vanni in 2009, whilst continuing to provide assistance to Sri Lanka, despite public criticism of the humanitarian crisis.

“The FCO sent a delegation of senior Northern Irish police commanders to Colombo as ‘critical friends’ in February 2009, at a point in the conflict when even hospitals had been shelled by Sri Lankan forces,” the report said.

See full report by Phil Miller here.

See here for Tamil Guardian report from 2001, on British support for Sri Lanka and its training of the notorious Special Task Force.