Mark Field, UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to reconciliation and strengthening democracy.
The minister, who is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka, said in a statement ahead of the visit that he was looking forward to talking with the government and affected communities about the additional steps that are needed to deliver long-term peace and stability for all Sri Lankans.
He commended the authorities and all those in Sri Lanka working hard to combat the illegal wildlife trade and hope to encourage plans to conserve Sri Lanka’s unique and beautiful environment.
He said the UK and Sri Lanka were long-standing friends, and the UK was committed to supporting Sri Lanka achieve its commitments on reconciliation and human rights.
Meanwhile, the minister said having hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013, Sri Lanka was an obvious partner in defining and driving a shared vision of the Commonwealth to ensure it is fitted to deliver for all its member states into the future.
“The UK will host an ambitious and dynamic Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018, with the purpose of ensuring that the Commonwealth remains on a path that is relevant for the 21st century,” he said.
The UK High Commission in Sri Lanka said yesterday Minister Field would meet Ministers Tilak Marapana and Mangala Samaraweera, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Governor Reginald Cooray during his two-day visit on October 5 and 6.
In Colombo, he is scheduled to meet with families affected by enforced disappearances and hear of their concerns and their hopes for the Office of Missing Persons.
The minister would visit a UK-funded demining operation, meet families living on land cleared of mines and speak with British demining charity ‘The Halo Trust’.
He will meet UK and Sri Lankan education institutions at the British Council and will also visit the British Council teaching centre in Jaffna.