Visiting UK officials welcome Lanka’s commitments to strengthen democracy

Simon_McDonaldHead of the British Diplomatic Service Sir Simon McDonald and Secretary at the UK Department for International Development Mark Lowcock have welcomed the Sri Lankan Government’s commitments to strengthen democracy in the country, the British High Commission in Colombo said today.

The two officials visited Sri Lanka yesterday to meet with high-level Government officials and discuss Sri Lanka’s progress on reconciliation. During their visit they also met with representatives of many of the organisations implementing UK funded projects in Sri Lanka in the areas of good governance, anti-corruption, de-mining and police reform.

During their meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sir Simon and Lowcock welcomed the Sri Lankan Government’s commitments to strengthen democracy and progress so far on reconciliation. Sir Simon reiterated the UK governments continuing support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to bring about reconciliation.

Sir Simon and Lowcock also met with Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan and heard from him about a political settlement and challenges facing the people in the north and east.

The UK has supported police reform to encourage community oriented policing to improve local safety, security and post-conflict stability. Furthering the discussion on UK support Sir Simon and Lowcock met with Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake. At the meeting British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris signed a contract with The Asia Foundation to continue UK funded community policing initiatives in Sri Lanka.

Lowcock also met with Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Hon. M.A Swaminathan and heard from him on land-returns and the return of IDP’s and briefed him on UK government support for demining.

In a meeting with the Commission for the Investigation of Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) they discussed UK support towards anti-corruption work and the need for international cooperation to ensure that those who are responsible are held to account. UK support has included having officers from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK, working with Sri Lankan investigators and prosecutors in Colombo.

The UK will continue its programme of support for Sri Lanka to help the government fulfil its goals on reconciliation, human rights and strengthening democracy. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Here we go again same political rhetoric so call ‘democracy’ to keep themselves above others to rule the world. I am well aware of your democracy and human rights. I am enlightening the people. You can’t fool all the people all the time.

  2. Elections are the foundation of the democracy. We are deprived of local government elections for more than a year and no sign of holding the elections. Where is the democracy sir?

  3. It is impossible to find out if reconciliation is in progress unless the following aspects are considered.

    Reconciliation is only between the offender and the offended.

    Reconciliation is a process whereby the offender either recognises his offence voluntarily or is found guilty by a judicial process. When the guilty offender, expresses remorsefulness at the 0ffence and asks for forgiveness from the offended, and when the offended person agrees to forgive the offence and the offended, reconciliation is complete and the animosity ceases to exist; resulting in healing, restoration and peace.

    Blame game by political parties could be an attempt to reconcile good and evil done between them. But it is not ethnic reconciliation.

    Ethnic reconciliation is simply between the offended Tamils and the Sinhalese who caused the offence. It does not involve multiple laws.

  4. I agree with Mr Justin, Reconciliation is a process which should start somewhere truthfully. Verbal comitments only will never bring the peace & reconciliation in our country


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