Czech Parliamentary delegation visits north

Saturday, 24 November 2012 00:13 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

An eight-member Parliamentary delegation from the Czech Republic visiting Sri Lanka since Monday (19 November) toured the conflict-affected Jaffna peninsula on Thursday.

The delegation led by the Chairman of the foreign Affairs committee of the Czech Republic David Vodrazka MP met the Commander of Security forces Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and other senior military officers to discuss the present situation in the peninsula.

During the meeting, Major General Hathurusinghe has briefed the delegation on the present situation of the region and the Army’s involvement in the post-war development process.

Responding to questions raised by the delegation, the Commander has explained the measures taken by the Government to reduce the number of troops in Jaffna. He has explained that reduction of troops will continue in future in keeping with national security requirements.

The Commander had apprised the delegation further on the Army’s role in demining, rehabilitation and other people-oriented welfare initiatives that are in place to assist the resettlement of the displaced people.

On Wednesday, the Czech officials also called on the Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam and the Northern Province Governor Major General (retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri.

The Czech delegation has also met the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister and Jaffna District Parliamentarian Douglas Devananda and discussed the development activities undertaken by his Ministry and the Government in the district.

During the meeting with the Minister Devananda, the delegation has expressed interest to invest in Sri Lanka to strengthen the bilateral relationships in trade between the two countries. Prior to their visit to the north, the delegation met Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry premises on Tuesday 20 November to discuss the economic development in the war-battered region.

The delegation also comprised Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Katerina Konecna MP, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Sri Lanka Miloslav Stasek, and six other MPs and ambassadorial officials.