UK High Commissioner Urges SL Government To Proceed Fast On Geneva Commitments

UH High Commissioner for Sri Lanka James Dauris called on the Sri Lankan government proceed fast on its 'Geneva commitments.'

While welcoming the efforts made by the Sri Lankan government advance reconciliation and accountability, Dauris, in his Christmas and new year message, said he looked forward to seeing the government take more of the sorts of steps that we saw in last month's budget that will make Sri Lanka an easier place for everyone to do business and help to attract investors and win their confidence.

He also said, "I'm proud of the work my team has been doing in so many different areas with the Sri Lankan government and authorities. We have been contributing in lots of ways to the work that is going on around the country to promote reconciliation. To give you two examples, we've been funding work in the east to bring leaders of different faiths together, and we have been continuing to fund important humanitarian demining work in the north. We've been continuing our work with the Sri Lanka Police force on community policing and police reform. Our armed forces have been working together - earlier this month I met Sri Lanka Navy participants in a Royal Navy run course on marine resource management.

We share the welcome given by people in every community in Sri Lanka to all the steps taken over the year to help achieve and advance reconciliation between communities. It's to the government's credit that the Right to Information Act came into force in February, that Sri Lanka again committed itself to advancing reconciliation and accountability at the United Nations in Geneva in March, that President Sirisena approved the Act establishing the Office of Missing Persons in July, that it deposited its accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture at the UN in New York earlier this month, and that it has signed up to the Ottawa Convention that prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines.

I'm mentioning these things because I believe, and my government believes, that reconciliation really matters. With it will come the confidence and trust that will help to bring sustained and enduring peace and prosperity to all Sri Lanka and to Sri Lankans of every faith and identity.

Looking towards the coming year, I'm encouraged that there will be local elections in February. Lots more women than before are going to be standing - something for us all to welcome. It's going to be important for the government to push forward with steps that will move on its Geneva commitments quickly. I'm also looking forward to seeing the government take more of the sorts of steps that we saw in last month's budget that will make Sri Lanka an easier place for everyone to do business and help to attract investors and win their confidence." 

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