Blair holds the key
The British government's failings in the peace process were
highlighted today by Sinn Fein today as the party turned its
focus away from fruitless exchanges with the hardline unionist
Sinn Fein vice president Pat Doherty said it was particularly
vital that British officials dealt with the issue of collusion
between members of the Crown forces and unionist gunmen in next
month`s negotiations in Kent in southern England.
"The British government has, on three separate occasions,
unilaterally suspended the institutions set up under the Good
Friday Agreement," he said.
"It has also failed to deliver on its commitments on policing,
the administration of justice, demilitarisation, equality and
"The British government's failure to deliver on the above issues
is directly related to its determination to suppress the truth
about its policy of collusion.
"The British government fully understands that the truth about
collusion will expose the extent of its dirty war in Ireland.
"The resulting domestic and international outcry would focus an
unwanted spotlight on the murky state apparatus which
implemented this policy and which still remains intact."
British Prime Minister TOny Blair was reneged on a commitment to
launch a public inquiry into the involvement of British forces
in the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989.
Mr Finucane's murder is one in a series of officially authorized
murders which involved unionist paramilitaries, members of the
police and British Army intelligence.
Mr Doherty said today if collusion was addressed it would boost
nationalist confidence in policing and justice in the North.
He continued: "Unless the British Government comes clean on its
policy of collusion and opens up its institutions to democratic
scrutiny and accountability, it will continue to be in default
of its commitments under the Good Friday Agreement.
"The British Government holds the key to resolving many of the
outstanding issues in the Peace Process. Does it possess the
will? We will find out in September."
Meanwhile, a row between rival unionists over next month's talks
has grown after the DUP was accused today of breaking its
promise to stop concessions to republicans.
In a hard hitting attack on the Democratic Unionists, senior
Ulster Unionist Michael McGimpsey said it was clear concessions
were continuing despite the Reverend Ian Paisley`s party being
given a clean slate.
However DUP Assembly member Arlene Foster hit back, insisting
the party had not been given a clean slate and was still trying
to establish what had been agreed by the UUP, Sinn Fein and the
British and Irish Governments when a deal spectacularly
collapsed last October.
Mr McGimpsey, the UUP Assembly member for South Belfast, claimed
the DUP was engaged in choreography with Sinn Fein over a deal.
He said: "The DUP, in trying to cover their tracks, makes up
excuses by blaming the UUP but this a nonsense."
But Arlene Foster, who defected to the DUP this year from the
Ulster Unionists, rejected his claims.
"Michael McGimpsey knows very well we did not start with a clean
slate," the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA responded. "If so,
why are we asking the Ulster Unionist Party to release the
details of what was agreed with Sinn Fein and the two
governments last October?
"Why haven't they been quick to release those details once the
DUP has challenged them?"