Feb 20, Colombo: Britain does not want to see the return of the terrorism unleashed in Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) again, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin said following an official visit to Jaffna.
Rankin, accompanied by a senior official from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London and colleagues from the British High Commission in Colombo, paid an official visit to Jaffna from 19-20 February.
Commenting at the conclusion of the visit, the British High Commissioner said nobody he spoke to wished to see a return of LTTE.
"Nobody to whom I spoke wished a return of LTTE terrorism. And nor, emphatically, do we want to see that happen again," Rankin said in a statement.
The High Commissioner has met with the government officials as well as Tamil political leaders in the peninsula and in discussions held with them, has emphasized on Sri Lanka addressing the crucial issues of accountability, human rights and reconciliation during.
"In all our discussions, we highlighted the continued importance of addressing issues of accountability, the vital importance of pursuing long-term reconciliation and the need for respect for human rights," Rankin said.
"We believe that positive developments in these areas will contribute to peace and prosperity for all the people of Sri Lanka."
The visit is one of many visits the British envoy and his team would take around the country to get a firsthand look on the situation on the ground.
During the tour, the High Commissioner and his team had met a range of individuals and groups who continue to play a significant role in Jaffna and observed the continuing welcome economic development in the region.
The delegation has discussed how the economic development can trickle down to benefit all sections of society and how the diaspora can support inward investment while noting the continuing challenges - including finding a durable solution for the remaining IDPs.
The group has learned about the problems faced by single women and women heads of households, including from sexual violence.
Rankin said the team also discussed land issues in the North, including the High Security Zones (HSZs) and the role and level of military presence.
The High Commissioner and his team had discussions with the Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran and the Governor G.A. Chandrasiri on how the Northern Provincial Council can function more fully.
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.
During the visit, the British envoy met with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Sabapathypillai welfare village in Jaffna 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.
The High Commissioner has also met the Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Udaya Perera, 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.