U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal has had talks with Sri Lankan women Parliamentarians on the Sri Lankan issue. The top U.S. official tweeted saying she discussed combatting violence against women and role of women in advancing peace and reconciliation
Meanwhile Britain says it will continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to respect human rights, promote meaningful reconciliation and agree to a political settlement with the Tamil and other opposition parties.
The head of the political team at the British High Commission in Colombo, Daniel Painter, said in a blog posting in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the British Government’s primary objective in Sri Lanka is to support the development of a stable and prosperous country, not simply because the Sri Lankan people deserve this, but also because it is in Britain’s national interest to do so.
“The holding of elections (last September), and the convincing victory by the opposition Tamil National Alliance, raised hopes and expectations about the prospects for reconciliation. Unfortunately, developments since then have dented that optimism, but the UK is continuing to support efforts to build the peace,” he said.
Painter also noted that despite the impressive reconstruction and infrastructure development that has taken place in the north (some of which has also been funded by the UK) the lack of economic opportunities presents real challenges for the young people in that part of the country. He said hat the youth in the country despite their different cultures and backgrounds, share the same aspirations for their personal development and fulfilment
“It is a world away from the development and growth I see (and hear) every day in Colombo,” he added.
The UK official returned after visiting the north to visit UK funded projects across the province in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar and Puttalam that are helping Sri Lanka to manage its post-conflict challenges and foster reconciliation. The Sri Lanka Unites (SLU) reconciliation centre in Mullaitivu, provide English language and IT training for local young people. With UK funding SLU opened another centre in Matara last year and will soon open a third centre in the Ampara District in the East.