British minister arrives in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 November 2000, 07:48 GMT]
Concluding his four-day visit to India, British Foreign Office Minister Mr. Peter Hain arrived Colombo Wednesday morning on a two-day visit. This is his first visit to the island as a Foreign Office Minister and the first by a British Foreign Minister since the late Derek Fatchett visited in 1998.

Mr. Hain will meet President Chandrika Kumaratunge, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Constitutional Affairs and Industrial Development Minister G.L.Peiris, members of Opposition parties and representatives from civil society and a cross-section of communities, the UK High Commission news release states.

Mr.Hain will deliver a speech at the British Council on the topic" British Policy on Devolution and the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Political sources said that Mr.Hain would meet representatives of Tamil political parties this evening.

Meanwhile far-right Sihala Urumaya (SU) party which has severely condemned Norway's role in finding a political solution to the ethnic problem is planning to hold a demonstration outside the British High Commission in Colombo Tuesday evening at 3 p.m.

Last week hundreds of SU supporters, many of them Buddhist monks, picketed outside the Royal Norwegian embassy in Colombo and burnt an effigy of Oslo's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim.

 

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