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UK envoy summoned


The External Affairs Ministry summoned British High Commissioner John Rankin today and expressed displeasure over comments he had made in a video recently.

A spokesman at the External Affairs Ministry said that Minister G.L Peiris met the British envoy at the Ministry this afternoon.

The Ministry was unhappy over Rankin’s comments posted on YouTube where he had urged the government to reduce the military presence in the north, especially in Jaffna and the Wanni.

The British High Commissioner had said that the military presence in the north should resemble that of the army presence seen in other parts of the country.

“The President said in his victory day speech that the military is no longer involved in civil administration in the north and east of the country. It is very important that should be the case and we will continue to monitor the situation. It is important that people have a say in the day to day decisions that affect them and that normal civil administration is restored to the greatest extent possible,” he said.

Rankin also said that it is a good thing that the LTTE continues to remain a proscribed organization in many countries of the world including the United Kingdom.

During his victory day speech President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected calls to close army bases in the former war zone.

Rajapaksa said reducing the military camps in the former war zone would be a risk to national security.

“There are many who shout that the security forces camps in these areas should be removed. They ask us why they are not removed,” he said, pointing out the north was under civilian, not military rule. (Colombo Gazette)

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