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News story: British High Commissioner Concludes Visit to the North

News article

British High Commissioner Concludes Visit to the North

From:
British High Commission Colombo1

History:

Updated 8 September 2014, see all updates

Two videos embeded
8 September 2014 10:34am
First published.

5 September 2014 2:59pm

Part of:

Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka2 and Sri Lanka3

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, H E John Rankin, made a three-day visit to the Northern Province (Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya) on 1-3 September, 2014.

British High Commissioner with students from the Mullaitivu Hindu Tamil Vidyalam School
British High Commissioner with students from the Mullaitivu Hindu Tamil Vidyalam School

The High Commissioner met government and military officials, members of political parties, the police, the British Council, humanitarian organisations and resettled communities.

Commenting on the visit, the British High Commissioner said:

I was pleased to visit the North again to see for myself the current situation on the ground, the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain. I was also happy to meet those involved in addressing concerns and restoring normality to the region. In my discussions, it was clear that the region is moving forward from its difficult past, but some concerns remain.

I visited the Mullaitivu Hindu Tamil Vidyalam School which I last visited three years ago, and was delighted to see the new buildings being used by their talented students.

In Jaffna I met Dr Ravi Pillai, a dual Sri Lankan British National, who is conducting life saving heart surgery in the North for the first time.

I also met several recently resettled families in Puthukkudiyiruppu.

They spoke frankly about the issues their communities face including a lack of housing and employment.

I strongly hope that these communities can live their lives free from reprisals and are able to have their voices heard.

The Northern Province is one of the most fascinating places in Sri Lanka, as it rebuilds and rejuvenates itself from its legacy of war. It is encouraging to see firsthand the progress made in areas such as demining and resettlement and I welcome the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government in these areas. I also urge the government to continue taking further steps to improve the livelihoods of the people of the Northern Province, address their concerns and allow them to move forward into a brighter future in a stable and peaceful Sri Lanka.

The UK will continue to support these efforts.

Jaffna visit of the British High Commisisoner in Sri Lanka4

The High Commissioner visited the offices of the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna; a demining site operated by The HALO Trust in Muhamalai, supported by the British government; the Oxonian Heart Foundation run by Dr Ravi Pillai at the North Central Hospital, a Sri Lankan British National; the MAS Active factory in Kilinochchi; and the British High Commission funded community Policing project at the Puthukkudiyiruppu police station. He also met Maj. Gen.

Boniface Perera, Commander of the Security Forces in the Vanni; TNA MP, Sivashakthi Andandan; Mr N.

Vethanayagma, Government Agent of Mullaitivu; and Mrs Mohanathan, Additional Government Agent of Vavuniya.

Jaffna visit – follow-up video by the British High Commissioner5

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Published:
5 September 2014
Updated:
8 September 2014

+ full page history

8 September 2014 10:34am
Two videos embeded
5 September 2014 2:59pm
First published.
From:
British High Commission Colombo8

Part of:
Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka9
Sri Lanka10

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References

  1. ^ British High Commission Colombo (www.gov.uk)
  2. ^ Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)
  3. ^ Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)
  4. ^ Jaffna visit of the British High Commisisoner in Sri Lanka (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ Jaffna visit – follow-up video by the British High Commissioner (www.youtube.com)
  6. ^ Share on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  7. ^ Share on Twitter (twitter.com)
  8. ^ British High Commission Colombo (www.gov.uk)
  9. ^ Promoting peace, democratic values and human rights in Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Sri Lanka (www.gov.uk)

Press release: FCO Minister condemns further Iraq attacks

Press release

FCO Minister condemns further Iraq attacks

  • English
  • 1
From:

Foreign & Commonwealth Office2 and Tobias Ellwood MP3

History:
Published 26 August 2014

Part of:

Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa4, Defence and armed forces5, Foreign affairs6, International aid and development7, National security8 and Iraq9

Tobias Ellwood condemns attacks across Iraq that killed over 50 people and calls for inclusive government to fight terrorism

placeholder

Reacting to news that over 50 people had been killed in attacks across Iraq yesterday, including an attack on a Shia Mosque, Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said:

The United Kingdom condemns the attacks that took place across Iraq yesterday.

My condolences go out to the families of those involved.

The attacks targeting worshippers in a Shia Mosque in Baghdad were particularly disturbing.

These attacks, clearly designed to incite violence and create sectarian division, have no place in the future of Iraq.

It is vital that all Iraqis unite together to confront the serious threat Iraq faces from terrorism.

The United Kingdom continues to fully support the Iraqi government in its efforts to combat terrorism and bring those responsible for these terrible crimes to justice.

I again urge all of Iraq s political leaders to work together to urgently form a new inclusive, national unity government.

Further information

Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood on twitter @TobiasEllwoodMP10

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice11

Follow the Foreign Office on facebook and Google+1213

Media enquiries

Email
[email protected]14

News Desk
020 7008 3100

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Published:
26 August 2014
From:
Foreign & Commonwealth Office17
Tobias Ellwood MP18

Part of:
Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa19
Iraq20

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References

  1. ^ (www.gov.uk)
  2. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (www.gov.uk)
  3. ^ Tobias Ellwood MP (www.gov.uk)
  4. ^ Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa (www.gov.uk)
  5. ^ Defence and armed forces (www.gov.uk)
  6. ^ Foreign affairs (www.gov.uk)
  7. ^ International aid and development (www.gov.uk)
  8. ^ National security (www.gov.uk)
  9. ^ Iraq (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ @TobiasEllwoodMP (twitter.com)
  11. ^ @foreignoffice (twitter.com)
  12. ^ facebook (www.facebook.com)
  13. ^ Google+ (plus.google.com)
  14. ^ [email protected] (www.gov.uk)
  15. ^ Share on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  16. ^ Share on Twitter (twitter.com)
  17. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (www.gov.uk)
  18. ^ Tobias Ellwood MP (www.gov.uk)
  19. ^ Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa (www.gov.uk)
  20. ^ Iraq (www.gov.uk)

North Korea confirms latest missile test

North Korea confirmed Monday its second missile test in recent days, with leader Kim Jong-Un overseeing the drill ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to South Korea.

The South Korean military said Sunday’s test was of two short-range Scud missiles with a range of about 500 kilometers (300 miles).

A dispatch by the North’s official KCNA news agency was unclear about the type of missile, mentioning, “tactical rockets” and “precision-guided missiles”.

A few days earlier, a similar dispatch had hailed the test of a new “cutting-edge” guided missile as a “breakthrough” in the North’s military capability.

Pyongyang has in the past made extravagant claims about its ballistic missile capability, and experts are divided as to how far the country has gone in developing its missile systems under UN sanctions.

North Korea carries out regular missile tests, sometimes for technical reasons but often as a show of force to register its displeasure with events elsewhere.

The two latest tests come ahead of Xi’s July 3-4 trip to Seoul for talks with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

China is North Korea’s sole major ally and key economic benefactor, and the fact that Xi is visiting Seoul before Pyongyang has been seen by some as a deliberate snub.

For all its leverage, China has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea’s refusal to curb its nuclear weapons programme as well its penchant for raising regional tension.

According to KCNA, Kim argued that the missile tests “had not the slightest impact” on regional peace and security, and were in fact a guarantor of regional stability.

“Durable peace can be protected only when one is so strong that nobody dares provoke one and it can be guaranteed by one’s own strength,” said Kim, who personally oversaw both the latest tests.

With Xi and Park expected to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons, the North’s state-run newspaper lashed out at efforts to curb its nuclear ambition as a “stupid fantasy.”

The ruling party’s official Rodong Sinmun reiterated Monday that the atomic weapons were means of self-defense against perceived threats from the US and the South.

“It’s about time for the enemies to wake up from the stupid fantasy called ‘denuclearization of the North,” it said in an editorial.

“‘Denuclearization of the North’ is a wild dream that can never be achieved forever,” it added.

Tensions between North and South Korea have been running high for months, with each accusing the other of provocations.

Most recently, the North’s army threatened a “devastating strike” after the South held a live-fire drill near the flashpoint maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

In March, the two sides traded hundreds of shells across the border off the west coast after the North dropped shells in the South’s waters during a live-fire drill.

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