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* UK monitoring civil, political rights and land issues in Sri Lanka
Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 09:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 15, Colombo: The British government said it will continue to monitor closely civil and political rights as well as land issues in Sri Lanka.

Responding to a question raised during a debate on Sri Lanka in the UK parliament on Thursday, the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said that the Prime Minister David Cameron during his November meeting with the Sri Lankan President raised the issue of land rights and militarization in the North.

He said the UK has expressed concerns at military involvement in civilian activities in the north and is aware of reports that the military are involved in education.

Welcoming the Northern Provincial Council elections held in September 2013, Swire told the UK parliament that it was the first provincial council election held in the predominantly Tamil north since the 1987 establishment of provincial councils.

"The opposition, Tamil National Alliance, won over 80% of the vote. Local election observers noted that elections were relatively free from violence, though not from intimidation," he told parliament.

Cameron during his meeting with the Sri Lankan President called for a "meaningful political settlement with the north, including demilitarization and full implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations," Swire said.

"We continue to underline to the Sri Lankan authorities the need for a long-term political settlement to address these underlying grievances and will continue to monitor these issues," the Minister reiterated.

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