|Sportstar Aces Awards 2023 | VOTE FOR TOP CATEGORIES

In Jaffna, Cameron speaks up for devolution

‘I want to shine a light on chilling events,’ he tweets

November 15, 2013 06:58 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:08 pm IST - Jaffna

British Prime Minister David Cameron talks to villagers of Internally displaced peoples camp at Chunnakam village, in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on Friday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron talks to villagers of Internally displaced peoples camp at Chunnakam village, in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on Friday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday assured politicians and people of Jaffna that he would take up issues such as devolution, freedom of expression and alleged land-grab by the army with the Sri Lankan government.

Mr. Cameron’s visit to the town garnered considerable attention amid the buzz around the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which was declared open in Colombo on Friday.

“I’m the first PM or President to go to the north of Sri Lanka since 1948. I want to shine a light on chilling events there first-hand,” Mr. Cameron tweeted. He flew into Jaffna soon after attending the opening ceremony.

Hours ahead of Mr. Cameron’s arrival, a sizeable number of people, all relatives of those who had disappeared, gathered near the Jaffna Public Library. Each of them had a chilling story to tell.

Their demonstration was rather peaceful until a counter protest with people carrying placards saying ‘We are Sri Lankans,’ ‘Don’t interfere in our country’s prosperity’ and ‘Don’t put us into trouble for political mileage’ was spotted right outside the library gate. This group, which identified itself as the Jaffna Buddhist Association, was later seen near a camp for displaced persons that Mr. Cameron visited as well. “There is no problem in the north now, all Tamils and Sinhalese live peacefully,” said Sapuma Jayasena, association coordinator.

Demanding that they also be given close access to the library – like the association members – some members of the group highlighting the issue of disappearances tried to force themselves forward. The following moments were tense with the police denying access to them, some of them tripping and being stepped over, and others mobbing a couple of vans that were following the Prime Minister’s convoy. By then, Mr. Cameron had left.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.