Denial of entry to Swedish FM is baseless: S.Lanka
The news report that Sri Lanka bars Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to enter into the country was confirmed as baseless by the Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.
Lankan authority in a released statement made it clear that there was no such denial on the part of government and, in fact, an invitation had been extended by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama to his Swedish counterpart to visit Sri Lanka in early May.
Earlier, on April 28, it was reported by a section of international media that Mr. Bildt had been refused permission to come to Sri Lanka with the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who arrived in the country yesterday, to make a close assessment of the humanitarian situation arise out of the present war against LTTE.
According to Sri Lankan authority, when the visits by the Foreign Minister of France and the British Foreign Secretary were discussed with Sri Lanka both at presidential and ministerial levels, there was no indication of the participation of the Swedish Foreign Minister, but at no instance the government denied entry to Minister Bild.
The Foreign Ministry statement further added that the allegation that a visa had been denied to the Swedish Foreign Minister is out of question, as there was no formal application received for a visa by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm.
Observers here are of the view that this situation has been manipulated by pro-LTTE elements abroad in their campaign to attack and discredit the Government of Sri Lanka.
Today – April 29 – Minister for Disaster Management & Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe was reported on BBC stating that Sri Lanka considered Sweden a very friendly country and would be glad to have its Foreign Minister at a mutually agreeable time.
Lankan authority took the whole misunderstanding as an alleged act of manipulation by pro-LTTE elements abroad in their campaign to defame the Government of Sri Lanka.
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