WIKILEAKS REVEAL MILIBAND WAS TOUTING FOR TAMIL VOTES JUST LIKE WHAT SOME PRESENT BRITISH MPs DO
Posted on March 16th, 2018
David Miliband

 David Miliband, foreign secretary during the Sri Lankan civil war, told an official he was spending two-thirds of his time on Sri Lanka. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

The diplomatic campaign by former foreign secretary David Miliband to champion aid and human rights during the Sri Lankan humanitarian crisis last year was largely driven by domestic political calculations, according to a Foreign Office official.

A leaked May 2009 cable from the US embassy in London quotes the official, Tim Waite, a Foreign Office team leader on Sri Lanka, explaining Miliband’s intense focus on the plight of the country’s Tamils in terms of UK electoral geography.

“Waite said that much of [Her Majesty’s government] and ministerial attention to Sri Lanka is due to the ‘very vocal’ Tamil diaspora in the UK, numbering over 300,000, who have been protesting in front of parliament since 6 April,” Richard Mills, a political officer at the US embassy, reported.

The Foreign Office said tonight there was nothing wrong or unusual in explaining to a foreign diplomat the political context for UK foreign policy, and a former prime ministerial envoy on Sri Lanka said that the British involvement was motivated firstly by the scale of the humanitarian crisis.

The comments quoted in the US cable were made in the midst of a flurry of activity on Sri Lanka by Miliband, as the long civil war between the government and the Tamil Tigers was reaching a bloody conclusion. At the end, some local doctors estimated that as many as a thousand people, mostly Tamils, were dying each day.

The foreign secretary had just visited Sri Lanka with his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner on 29 April.

Miliband told parliament two days later that the joint trip had been “to highlight the need to bring the conflict to an end in a way that minimises further civilian casualties; to press the case for the humanitarian relief effort to be ratcheted up, as the UN and EU have been calling for; and to make clear the need for a long-term political settlement that meets the aspirations of all communities in Sri Lanka.”

2 Responses to “WIKILEAKS REVEAL MILIBAND WAS TOUTING FOR TAMIL VOTES JUST LIKE WHAT SOME PRESENT BRITISH MPs DO”

  1. vyasan Says:

    Not only in the U.K, wherever the Tamil votes can make a difference in the outcome of election results, the candidates of any party would target them doing whatever that pleases the Tamil voters. In Canada its the same condition. I believe in other European countries also would be the same. Politicians are politicians, whatever party they belong to, only a few exceptions would happen here and there!

  2. L Perera Says:

    British and Canadian politicians have a reputation of sucking up to dissident minority groups from developing countries
    They profess to be to be righteous and caring , but we all know that it is nothing but vote buying. Those who indulge in this tactic are hipocrital scum. The likes of former Politicians like Enoch Powell were more honest and honerable than the likes of the later day, Cameron Milibands and Trudeau.

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