Letter: Our tanks in Jakarta

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The Independent Online
Sir: As High Commissioner in Freetown, Derek Partridge was widely regarded as a great friend of the people of Sierra Leone. He is surely right (letter, 14 May) to call for us to celebrate the return of democracy rather than listen to those in the British media and Opposition who were the first to shout "Rejoice" when armed invasion was overcome in the Falklands but now cry foul.

The British media will eventually tire of the story, and will find other means of continuing their campaign against Robin Cook. Democracy however remains a fragile plant in Sierra Leone and the country's diamonds a powerful incentive to those who seek to undermine it.

The British government might be forgiven for never wanting to hear of Sierra Leone again. An ethical foreign policy, however, demands that we now take a lead in helping to rebuild this war-torn country, and be prepared to act again to protect the freedom of its people.



The writer was VSO Field Director in Sierra Leone 1989-92