UK official sees challenges in Jaffna

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Director for South Asia, Neil Crompton says many challenges still remain in Jaffna and the destructive force of war has made that inevitable.

In a statement released by the British High Commission in Colombo today, Crompton said that he was pleased to see the physical progress made in many areas in Jaffna since the end of the conflict, such as in demining and making large amounts of land inhabitable again.

Crompton made an official visit to Jaffna yesterday along with the British Deputy High Commissioner Robbie Bulloch.  They visited a demining site in Valalai funded by the British Government and run by the UK charity The HALO Trust and a micro-finance initiative for war widows supported by Standard Chartered Bank.

The UK official also met the Security Forces Commander to the North, the Governor of the Northern Province, the Indian Consul in Jaffna and civil society based in the area, the British High Commission said.

“I was eager to see for myself the situation in Jaffna, the main city of an area so badly affected by the war. I was pleased to see the physical progress made in many areas since the end of the conflict, such as in demining and making large amounts of land inhabitable again.  I am pleased that the UK has been able to help in this.  However, many challenges still remain – the destructive force of war has made that inevitable,” Crompton said.

He urged Sri Lankans of all backgrounds to work together to heal the wounds of so many years through further work on reconciliation.

“I welcome the plan to hold Northern Provincial Council elections in September as an important part of the return to normalcy,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)