Hasan Suroor

LONDON: The British government defended Foreign Secretary David Miliband's decision to address a meeting of the Global Tamil Forum here saying Britain would “engage'' with all members of the Sri Lankan community who shared its view that a peaceful political solution was the only way to achieve lasting peace in Sri Lanka.

A Foreign Office spokesman told The Hindu: “The U.K. firmly believes that the only way to achieve lasting and equitable peace in Sri Lanka is through genuine national reconciliation. The U.K. will engage with all members of the Sri Lankan community who share this goal, whether overseas or in Sri Lanka. Foreign Office officials regularly meet members of the Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil communities in the U.K. to discuss this and other developments in Sri Lanka.''

He said in his address to the Forum, Mr Miliband “re-emphasised'' the need to find a peaceful political solution to Sri Lanka's “conflict''.

Corrections and Clarifications

A report "Miliband addresses Tamil Forum" was repeated in the same issueas "U.K. defends Miliband's address to Global Tamil Forum" (Some editions,February 25, 2010).Miliband addresses Tamil Forum.