Saturday, 14 June 2008
Ungrateful Aid Recipient Of The Week
And this week it's Sri Lanka. Despite gaining independence from Britain on 4 February 1948 and still getting a few million quid a year in aid this former jewel in the Indian Ocean reckons that we should abolish our monarchy* and has raised the matter in a report by the UN Human Rights Council. I wonder if this has anything to do with the EU threatening to withhold 70 million euros of aid on account of Sri Lanka's abysmal human rights record. Sri Lanka is such a beacon of human rights that failed asylum seekers cannot be returned because of the risk of torture. But once a British passport is obtained, holidays home to this war-ravaged island are taken frequently by refugees. Laban Tall has an excellent post on the contribution made to the UK by some Sri Lankan citizens. But all in all they do help to make a nice cup of tea.
* Ceylon became a republic and changed its name to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sir Lanka in 1972 and a mere eleven years later civil war broke out. Scrapping the monarchy clearly worked wonders for them.