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Britain grants Sri Lanka £10 million in funds

The British High Commissioner to Colombo has announced more than £10 million in funding to Sri Lanka over the next three years for the explicit aims of long-term stability. 

Sarah Hulton, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, stated that these funds would further support “peacebuilding and dialogue, supporting resettlement and livelihood for displaced communities and strengthening the rule of law”.

This statement follows the Minister of State for the Commonwealth, UN and South Asia and Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon's visit to Sri Lanka from 1-2 October.

During his visit, he met with a variety of religious leaders and political leaders including as President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana and Leader of the Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan.

With respects to the funds he stated:

“I am delighted to announce the launch of a new phase of our Conflict, Stability and Security Fund in Sri Lanka. It will bring more than £10 million of targeted UK program funding over the next three years. These funds will support peace-building and dialogue; resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced communities; and engagement with institutions tasked with protecting the rule of law across the country. I know that many of these issues are close to your hearts and vital for the future success of Sri Lanka”. 

Whilst meeting with a variety of leaders he stressed the importance of freedom of religion, as well as the shared responsibility political leaders, held to ensure minority concerns and aspirations are heard.

The continued assistance to the island has been met with criticism by international NGOs wary of the glacial progress Sri Lanka has made on its commitments as well as the lack of political will.

In March, Sri Lanka's the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reported that Sri Lanka had made "virtually no progress" on the investigation of war crimes and called for accountability and transitional justice through a hybrid mechanism. 

Read more here: 'Virtually no progress' in Sri Lanka on war crimes investigations says UN human rights chief's office

Similarly, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice detailed the failure of the Sri Lankan government to fulfil the commitment it had made under resolutions 30/1 -34/1 at the UN Human Rights Council, in a report entitled 'No will, no war: stalled efforts to deal with the past in Sri Lanka'.

Read more here: Sri Lanka Campaign warns Sri Lanka 'lacks political will' to address root causes

Read more here and here.