Sun. May 26th, 2019

Colombo Gazette

The premier online newspaper in Sri Lanka

Miliband has regrets over Sri Lanka

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says he regrets the failure by the government during his tenure to stop the war in Sri Lanka.

During Miliband’s time as Foreign Secretary under Gordon Brown, he spent time in Sri Lanka, where he faced the issue of terrorist group Tamil Tigers and the conflict with the government.

When asked by ‘Impact Mgazine’ what he regretted during his time in office,  Miliband stated that, “We failed to stop between 60-120 thousand people from being killed in the civil war in Sri Lanka. You can’t help but have enormous regret and frustration about that”.

Miliband discussed this in the light of a recent report by the UN which stated “inadequate efforts by the world body to protect civilians during the bloody final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war marked a grave failure that led to suffering for hundreds of thousands of people”. Miliband said that he had tried to “raise the alarm” about the situation but had failed to do enough. He also regretted the decision of the UN officials to pull out of the country in 2009.

One of the issues, surrounding the debate over whether or not powerful countries such as the USA and its allies, including Great Britain, should intervene in the conflicts of foreign countries is that it can be a “Catch 22” situation for politicians. Governments can be chastised for not intervening in situations such as Sri Lanka, yet the war in Iraq and Afghanistan exemplify how intervention can be misguided and sometimes leave countries in a worse state than they were before.