Miliband, Kouchner arrive in Lanka

(April 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband arrived in Sri Lanka a little while ago on a one-day visit aimed at rescuing civilians trapped in a safe zone.

The two foreign ministers are scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama today while a visit to a Vavuniya camp where the war displaced people are sheltered is also on their agenda.

Prior to his departure Miliband has said the purpose of his visit was to address the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka and the “continuing grave risk to civilians in the conflict zone."

Miliband and Kouchner were to be accompanied by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, but the Sri Lankan government announced that Bildt’s inclusion in the team was a last minute affair and therefore he was extended an invitation to visit the country next month.

However, the refusal to accommodate Bildt has created a diplomatic row – with Sweden recalling its ambassador in Colombo.
-Sri Lanka Guardian