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Monday, 25 October 2010

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British investors welcome, says GL

External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris said British investors are welcome to Sri Lanka.

The Minister who met Foreign Secretary William Hague during his recent visit to UK discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral interest.

He briefed his British counterpart on the developments in Sri Lanka. The Minister also briefed Hague on the progress made with regard to the resettlement of the displaced, provision of livelihood for the people and the ongoing focus on infrastructure development. Minister Peiris thanked the British government for its continued humanitarian assistance through the Department for International Development.

Commenting that Sri Lanka is moving towards an economic renaissance, he said that the government is pleased that the private sector has come forward to assist the government in providing employment opportunities for the breadwinners of the resettled families. Minister Peiris also highlighted that the British investors are welcome to invest in the emerging atmosphere which holds promise for business. He specifically referred to the boom in the tourism industry.

This is the first foreign ministerial level visit from Sri Lanka to the UK since the election of the Conservative - Liberal Democratic coalition government. Referring to the endeavours in arriving at a political solution, Minister Peiris said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa remains resolved in bringing a lasting solution to address the concerns of all parties.

He said that discussions between the Government and the Tamil political parties, which commenced two months ago, are scheduled to continue. Briefing Foreign Secretary Hague on the work of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, Minister Peiris said that the Commission has made considerable progress and has already made interim communications to the government most of which have been earmarked for implementation.

Noticing that the contemporary international order is such that the countries are allowed to address their own issues without the others interfering with condescending and judgemental views, Minister Peiris said that Sri Lanka would appreciate the understanding of her friends and requires space for the Commission to proceed. He emphasized the need for the international community to look at the Commission without prejudice but with a benign presumption.

Minister Peiris at his meeting with Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox, discussed the whole spectrum of developments taking place in Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the resettlement of internally displaced persons and the restoration of livelihood.

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