At meeting with TNA leaders British officials express concern over resettlements

Britain’s Permanent Under-Secretary, at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Simon McDonald and Permanent Secretary at the UK Department for International Development, Mark Lowcock yesterday expressed concern over the resettlement process.
The two British officials met the TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran in Colombo, where they discussed the progress made in the resettlement process and on the post -war development activities in the North and East .
Assuring Britain’s support towards strengthening the reconciliation process, the British officials expressed concern over the resettlement process and other humanitarian issues.
Responding to the British officials Sampanthan, while welcoming the initiatives taken by the Government to release the lands in the North and East, pointed out that there was a long way to go towards strengthening the peace process.
Following the meeting with the TNA leadership, the British officials met the Minister for Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs M. A. Swaminathan, and discussed matters such as the release of lands from the possession of the Security Forces and on the Resettlement of the IDPs. Meanwhile, 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 UK will continue its programme of support for Sri Lanka to help the government fulfill its goals on reconciliation, human rights and strengthening democracy,” a British High Commission report added.  (PA)

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