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DateLine Friday, 23 January 2009

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Confidence placed in Government:

Foreign Minister lauds Lord Naseby

Recalling the report to the House of Lords presented by Lord Naseby, Co-Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka following his visit last year, where he observed that there was a chink of light with the pursuit of a military strategy against the terrorists, Foreign Minister Bogollagama thanked him for the confidence placed in the Government since that expectation was now being realised, Lord Naseby paid a courtesy call on the Foreign Minister on January 21 at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka.

Lord Naseby noted that the military strategy outlined to him last year during his meetings then, had at present been totally vindicated, with the clearance of the terrorists from the respective regions in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

He from his interactions with Sri Lankan citizens during the current visit, pointed out that there was a sense of appreciation among them, in the measured manner in which the military operations have been conducted against the terrorists.

With regard to the handling of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) especially from the North, the Minister explained the steps taken, based on the Government's experience in the East.

He reasoned out the issues giving rise to erroneous numbers of IDPs being publicised, and they discussed possible ways and means of overcoming the difficulties in its collation.

Foreign Minister Bogollagama underscored the importance of working with the Sri Lankan diaspora abroad at with the successes against the terrorists. Lord Naseby referring to the Northern Irish process which adopted a similar strategy undertook to assist in the UK in this regard.

They also discussed issues pertaining to the developments in the South Asian region.

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