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Sri Lankan government lobbies UK against Tamil diaspora activists

A Sri Lankan minister has requested the UK government to take further action against Tamil activists that were arrested by British police earlier this month.

Sri Lankan minister Champika Ranawaka, a leader of the hard-line Sinhala-Buddhist JHU party, met with the FCO Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field, during his visit to London last week.

According to the Daily Mirror, Ranawaka pushed for “taking stern action against the four individuals who were arrested for displaying the LTTE flags” during the meeting.

Referring to the incident in which a prominent British Tamil activist and three others were arrested while peacefully protesting the visit of Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ranawaka said the activists went “directly against the reconciliation processes being encouraged in Sri Lanka”.

The arrest was roundly criticised by British politicians, particularly as Thames Valley police were seen to be acting against UK citizens at the behest of Sri Lankan officials.