Britain says it will continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to respect human rights, promote meaningful reconciliation and agree to a political settlement with the Tamil and other opposition parties.
The head of the political team at the British High Commission in Colombo, Daniel Painter, said in a blog posting that the British Government’s primary objective in Sri Lanka is to support the development of a stable and prosperous country, not simply because the Sri Lankan people deserve this, but also because it is in Britain’s national interest to do so.
“The holding of elections (last September), and the convincing victory by the opposition Tamil National Alliance, raised hopes and expectations about the prospects for reconciliation. Unfortunately, developments since then have dented that optimism, but the UK is continuing to support efforts to build the peace,” he said.
Painter also noted that despite the impressive reconstruction and infrastructure development that has taken place in the north (some of which has also been funded by the UK) the lack of economic opportunities presents real challenges for the young people in that part of the country.
“It is a world away from the development and growth I see (and hear) every day in Colombo,” he added.(Colombo Gazette)