UK to appoint nonresident defence attaché

Last week UK Prime Minister David Cameron held bilateral talks with President Sirisena at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta, and announced a significant increase in UK support for reconciliation and human rights, recognising the considerable progress Sri Lanka has made since it hosted the last Commonwealth Meeting in 2013. UK says this will build on August’s peaceful parliamentary elections and help to deliver the commitments set out in the historic UNHRC resolution that was adopted in October including demilitarisation and land returns. (Colombo Gazette) Britain says 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. “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,” a UK Government statement said. The British Government has decided to appoint a non-resident defence attaché and access provided to UK military training courses to help support Sri Lankan military reform.The British Government however also said that it is clear that credible investigations into alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war are vital.

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