_60512538_jex_1417997_de27-‘Visiting UK Minister Alistair Burt went to the North of the country on the first day of his visit to Sri Lanka, holding a range of meetings and opening a youth project designed to facilitate country-wide reconciliation. Mr Burt was able to see developments that have occurred in the region since his last visit two years ago, and the work that remains to be done, following thirty years of conflict.

During a visit to the Keppapilavu relocation site, Mr Burt saw the continuing challenges faced daily by those who were displaced by the conflict. He expressed his hope that they would soon be able to return to their homes, or to other suitable areas. Visiting Mullaitivu, he opened the Sri Lanka Youth Reconciliation Trust Fund at Mullaiyawalai.

From Vavuniya Manick farm welfare center, he visited Keppilavu Sooriyapuram to observe the state of resettlement. The people at Keppailavu complained to him that “without making arrangements for basic facilities, they are dumped in the name of resettlement we were brought here and we are in a chaotic condition. We are facing problems in our daily lives. ”.

The Minister met the Mullaitivu Government Agent, Mr N Vethanayakam, and NGOs working in the area. These included the HALO Trust, a British organisation which is conducting de-mining in the North with UK Government support.

Visiting Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt called on the Sri Lankan Government to improve economic transparency to attract investment, at a reception hosted by British Ambassador John Rankin and attended by the local business community. He also delivered the guest lecture yesterday (1) on “Sri Lanka: 2013 and beyond” at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies.

View speech: http://ukinsrilanka.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=854556982

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