Written by Bella Dalima
01 Oct, 2014 | 8:42 pm
The UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Laura Davies, claims to have been followed during a recent visit to the East.
Davies made these revelation in a blog post on the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Blogs website.
In the narrative, titled Looking over my shoulder, Davies writes that during her visit two weeks ago to Arugam Bay, Pottuvil, Oluvil, Kalmunai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee she met with government and political interlocutors, humanitarian workers and civil society organisations, and visited temples, beaches and hospitals.
Noting that the visit was not controversial and was by no means a secret, she writes, “It’s my job to understand what’s happening in Sri Lanka, so that I can advise my government as well as British nationals planning to travel to or invest in Sri Lanka”.
She says that it gradually became impossible to ignore the fact that she was being watched. She writes that to make matters worse, “It was clear that the people I was meeting were having follow-up visits or phone calls, asking what I had done and said.”
UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka describes some of these incidents as almost ‘comic’, but notes however that other instances were clearly frightening to individuals and their families.
She writes that some newspapers have since speculated that I was seeking out testimony for the UN Human Rights Council investigation.
In response, Davies notes, “We have absolute confidence in the investigation team’s ability to source and validate its own testimony: I’m not about to try to do their job for them.”
Meanwhile, Journalists posed questions regarding the UK Deputy High Commissioner’s statement, at a media briefing convened at the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development on Wednesday.
Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya replied;
[quote]We have not received any report of this. But security forces do not provide security to any person unless there is a request. I do not think or I do not see any allegations being levelled at the security forces. Are there allegations? Well there were a lot of people who followed me today, the people going in their vehicles on the road that is.[/quote]
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