“Nobody to whom I spoke wished a return of LTTE terrorism. And nor, emphatically, do we want to see that happen again,” the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin said following an official visit to Jaffna.
He was accompanied by a senior official from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London and colleagues from the British High Commission, Colombo.
During the tour, the High Commissioner and his team had met Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Sabapathypillai welfare village – whom the British Prime Minister David Cameron also met in November last year – and made a contribution of books to the children’s nursery at the village.
He also called at the Jaffna Library and made a donation of over 150 children’s books, gifted by Number 10 Downing Street.
Commenting at the conclusion of the visit, the British High Commissioner said: “This is one of the many visits we make around the country to see for ourselves the situation on the ground. My team and I met a range of individuals and groups who continue to play a significant role in Jaffna. We’ve seen the continuing welcome economic development and discussed how it can trickle down to benefit all sections of society”.
We also discussed how the Diaspora can support inward investment, he further said.
He also had met with the demining NGO the HALO Trust for which the British government continues to provide significant support for demining activities in Sri Lanka.
“Our Prime Minister announced a further £2.1 million (pounds) towards this effort last November. We are encouraged that The HALO Trust’s good work allows people to return to their lands, as part of restoring normality to their lives,” he said.
During his visit, the High Commissioner met a variety of individuals and groups, including the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, Justice C V Wigneswaran; the Security Forces Commander, Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera; the Jaffna Governor, G A Chandrasiri; members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Members of Parliament, members of the Northern Provincial Council, international agencies working in the area, and civil society organizations.