UK steps up reconciliation and human rights support for Sri Lanka

cameron.jpg  02British Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with President Maithripala Sirisena  at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta on 27 November 2015, and announced a significant increase in UK support for reconciliation and human rights.

The Government will provide £6.6 million to Sri Lanka, spread over 3 years, to support reconciliation, military reform and to help people who were forced from their towns and villages during the civil war to return home.

A non-resident defence attaché will also be appointed and access provided to UK military training courses to help support Sri Lankan military reform.

Speaking at CHOGM, Prime Minister David Cameron said: Building on the pivotal role played by the UK in promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka since CHOGM 2013 and the Prime Minister’s last visit there where he spoke of Sri Lanka’s immense potential, this funding will help to ensure that President Sirisena can advance the important reform work he has already begun.

This will build on August’s peaceful parliamentary elections and help to deliver the commitments set out in the historic UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution that was adopted in October including demilitarisation and land returns.

The UK is clear that credible investigations into alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war are vital. We are already playing a key role in encouraging progress on this, including through the UNHRC resolution which set Sri Lanka on a new path towards reconciliation and a more prosperous and inclusive future.

We have already seen many welcome changes since my visit in 2013. And I hope Sri Lanka can now build on that and continue on its road to full recovery he said.

Britain will give Sri Lanka £6.6m over three years to help the country continue its recovery from a long civil war.

The money will be backed up by a non-resident defence attache and access to British armed forces training to help with military reform. The aid will also help people displaced from their towns and villages during the bloodshed to return home.

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