Controversial British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who was unpopular in Sri Lanka over his anti government remarks has been ousted following the labour government’s loss at the British elections and has been replaced by William Hague.
Miliband drew the ire of the Sri Lankan government and also was reported to have had a verbal spat with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse over the safety of civilians in rebel-held areas in Sri Lanka during an official visit he undertook to the country in May last year.
Miliband’s repeated calls for a ceasefire saw hundreds of Sri Lankan’s gathering outside the British High Commission in Colombo on two occasions, one last year and the other early this year, where the protestors threw rotten eggs and stones at the embassy compound, and the effigy of Miliband was set on fire before being thrown over the high embassy walls.
In February 2010, a new chill settled on the diplomatic relation between Sri Lanka and Britain as Miliband addressed a parliament meeting of the Global Tamil Forum in London. The forum is known to campaign for a separate Tamil nation in Sri Lanka.
At the protest launched outside the British Embassy, large cut out’s of the British Prime Minister and Miliband were seen pasted across the walls with both of them dressed in LTTE outfits.
Meanwhile, according to the AFP, William Hague who was named Britain's new Foreign Secretary was a prodigy who led the Conservatives into electoral disaster but is now one of their most popular and respected MPs.
The 49-year-old is fiercely eurosceptic, but while attacking the European Union (EU) for being overpowerful and undemocratic, he has toned down his opposition since becoming David Cameron's foreign affairs spokesman in 2005.
Meanwhile Dr Liam Fox, who often visited Sri Lanka and was close to the Sri Lankan government, has been appointed as Secretary of State for Defence in the newly formed Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government, it has emerged.
The North Somerset MP - a former civilian army medical officer and GP - had been shadow defence secretary since December 2005.
No party won an overall majority in the 2010 general election on 6 May, meaning Fox's appointment was delayed as former Prime Minister Gordon Brown remained in Downing Street during coalition talks. (Daily Mirror online)