Sri Lanka refuses entry to Swedish Foreign Minister

Sri Lanka refuses entry to Swedish Foreign MinisterSri Lanka refuses entry to Swedish Foreign MinisterColombo, Apr. 28 : A day after declaring an end to the use of heavy artillery and aerial weaponry against the rebel Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), the Government of Sri Lanka has refused entry to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

Bildt was to have arrived in Colombo on Wednesday with British counterpart David Miliband and France''s Bernard Kouchner to assess the situation in northern Sri Lanka.

No reason has been given for the refusal, but Sri Lanka has had tense relations with former Scandinavian monitors of its peace process.

Sweden is to recall its ambassador for consultation, Bildt said.

Miliband and Kouchner would continue their visit as planned, Bildt said.

Bildt said he had been told by Colombo that he would not be received as part of the European team and that he had been given no explanation.

"This is remarkable. You just don''t act this way," he said.

The diplomatic mission is part of international efforts to put pressure on Sri Lanka to call a ceasefire in the north-east, where the army is battling Tamil Tiger rebels. European Union foreign ministers on Monday joined the UN in the call for the truce.

The Sri Lankan military has restricted the rebels to a small stretch of land and believes final victory is near. (ANI)