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Last updated: 17 July, 2009 - Published 17:34 GMT
 
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UK 'impressed' with east development
 
UK envoy meeting Chief Minister Pillayan in the east
UK envoy has met eastern province Chief Minister and other political leaders
The British government has expressed support for the efforts to resettle displaced and the development in Sri Lanka's north and east.

After a fact finding mission to eastern province, British High Commissioner in Colombo, Dr. Peter Hayes, told BBC Sandeshaya that he was impressed with the improvement in the security situation.

"First thing I noticed was greatly reduced number of check points on the roads, particularly the roads up to Trincomalee from Colombo and around Batticaloa," he said.

The provincial government is the east has an 'ambitious agenda' to develop the region, Dr. Hayes said, but struggling to implement it due to lack of funding.

Investment opportunities

He added that the British High Commission in Colombo is getting "a lot of enquiries" from UK business community regarding investing in Sri Lanka.

 As a result of improving security situation in Trincomalee town, Arugam Bay and Yala national park, tourists and business people are more likely to come, invest and spend
 
Dr. Peter Hayes

"As a result of improving security situation in Trincomalee town, Arugam Bay and Yala national park, tourists and business people are more likely to come, invest and spend," Dr. Hayes said.

He said the UK government has allocated funding for the displaced in the north and next step for the British government is to help Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to get out of the camps.

However, it does not mean that the UK condone human rights violations and threats to media in Sri Lanka, according to the High Commissioner.

"We expressed concerns about human rights, media freedom consistently. We have been supporting media and human rights defenders. It has not been changed."

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had made pledges to safeguard human rights and media freedom, he said.

 
 
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