British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka H.E James Dauris visited the North and East last week. He heard about progress and challenges facing communities in these areas. He met a range of politicians, government officials, religious leaders, civil society organisations, business leaders, resettled communities and journalists.
During his visit to the East he met with Governor of the Eastern Province Austin Fernando and discussed challenges in the area and the way forward for resettled families and the importance of providing them with economic opportunities. In Trincomalee he met with Bishop Noel Emmanuel and local community representatives.
He also discussed constitutional reform, proposed changes to the electoral system and the wider political situation with Muslim community leaders in the area.
An important part of his programme in the North was meeting with resettled families and the families of people who disappeared during the conflict. The High Commissioner also visited homes of those who had recently been resettled in housing partly funded by the UK through partners. Families talked about the importance to them of knowing the truth, of having secure accommodation and of economic stability. They also talked about their hopes for the future.
With Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran he discussed reconciliation, constitutional change and economic and other provincial priorities.
The High Commissioner also met with journalists in Jaffna to get their take on the political climate and challenges faced by representatives of the media working in the North.