British HC meeting defeated JVP candidate irks Govt


The government is concerned about British High Commissioner John Rankin meeting W. Premadasa, a defeated JVP candidate at the recently concluded LG polls, at Hotel Peacock during the HC’s three-day visit to the South.

A senior government official told The Island that Premadasa had accompanied JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe to a meeting with British HC last Wednesday. Responding to a query, the official said the government appreciated the British HC’s recent visit to the North and now South, though his meeting with Premadasa, Vice Principal of Debarawewa Central College, who accused the government of targeting him in the run-up to the March 17 polls couldn’t be accepted.

The meeting is believed to have taken place on April 6, the second-day of the visit.

Ministerial sources alleged that the JVP was making a bid to take the shine off UPFA’s victory at the LG polls.

In the run-up to LG polls, the JVP accused government goons of directing a terror campaign targeting JVP candidates, particularly Premadasa.

"As part of his trip to the South the High Commissioner met a range of government and opposition politicians, including those from the UPFA, UNP and JVP," a spokesperson for the HC said.

The official was responding to a query on whether HC Rankin had met Premadasa in the company of Amarasinghe.

Earlier in the day, the British HC quoted Rankin as saying, "In Feb. this year, I visited the North of Sri Lanka and today I have gone as far South as it is possible to go-all the way to Dondra head. This is important for me in understanding the diverse perspectives of all Sri Lanka’s people. The long running conflict in Sri Lanka has affected every community across the island, each in a different way. No community should mourn the passing of the scourge of LTTE terrorism. I hope that all communities in Sri Lanka can play a role in addressing concerns and working together towards lasting reconciliation." (SF)

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