British head of diplomatic service discusses political settlement with TNA

The head of the British diplomatic service, Simon McDonald and the secretary at the UK Department for International Development visited Sri Lanka on Wednesday held discussions with the Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan regarding political settlement and the challenges facing Tamils in the North-East.

British delegation meets OppLeader & TNA head #Sampanthan & TNA Spokesman @MASumanthiran today @britishhighcomm #lka

— TNAMedia (@TNAmediaoffice) June 6, 2016
The visiting diplomats also met with the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe and other government officials, discussing the government’s progress on reconciliation and implementation of reforms.

Meeting with the minister for prison reforms, rehabilitation, resettlement and Hindu religious affairs, MA Swaminathan, the UK diplomats discussed land-returns and the return of IDPs.

A contract to renew UK funding for community policing initiatives was also signed with The Asia Foundation, during a meeting with the minister of law and order, and Southern development, Sagala Ratnayake.

“The UK has supported police reform to encourage community oriented policing to improve local safety, security and post-conflict stability,” the British High Commission in Colombo noted in a statement following the visit.

“The UK will continue its programme of support for Sri Lanka to help the government fulfil its goals on reconciliation, human rights and strengthening democracy.”

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