Britain named a special envoy to Sri Lanka on
Thursday to help bring about a political solution to the
island�s long-running conflict and to ease hardships to Tamil
civilians trapped in the Vanni warzone, UK press reports said.
"I've asked Des Browne, our former defence secretary, to be an
envoy for Sri Lanka," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a
Brown said the priorities were to achieve a
ceasefire and to get a political settlement, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake was quoted
by the Washington Post as saying the Sri Lankan military�s
capture of the Vanni region � which he expects within weeks �
will not end the LTTE�s armed struggle and that Colombo must
reach a political settlement with the Tamils.
"I want him to be involved in seeing whether there is scope for
political progress in Sri Lanka as well as looking at the issues
of humanitarian aid," the Prime Minister said of the newly
"The important thing is to emphasise to all partners that
without a ceasefire and then an attempt at a political process
we will be back to the same problems that we've had before,"
Premier Brown said.
Des Browne, who was replaced as defence secretary in a cabinet
shuffle last October, will work with the Sri Lankan government,
leaders of all communities in Sri Lanka, international agencies
and other countries, Reuters quoted a statement from Premier
Brown's office as saying.
Mr. Des Browne is a senior Labour MP from Scotland. He held the
post of Defence Secretary between May 2006 and October 2008 and
concurrently held the post of Secretary of State for Scotland
between June 2007 and October 2008.
After being elected to Parliament in 1997, Mr. Browne made his
name with strong speeches particularly on Human Rights, Northern
Ireland and Social Security, according to his constituency
Meanwhile, in an interview to the Washington Post, the US
Ambassador to Sri Lanka said the LTTE�s armed struggle would
continue until the Tamils have a solution that ensures they have
dignity and respect in Sri Lanka and autonomy in the areas where
"The point we've made to the government is that once they occupy
all the territory in the north, which should be a matter of
weeks or less, that will not end the LTTE because the LTTE still
has a large number of guerrillas underground that will continue
to rely on the support of the Tamil diaspora," Blake said.
"So it will be very important for the government to come forward
with a package of political proposals that will really ensure
the Tamils of Sri Lanka a position of dignity and respect, and
give them some measure of local autonomy in the areas in which