UK seeks Sri Lanka’s cooperation to curtail number of illegal immigrants

British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton has requested the Minister of Pulic Security Tiran Alles to cooperate in the efforts taken to prevent Sri Lankan nationals from entering the United Kingdom as illegal immigrants.

Hulton visited Alles earlier this week, with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Director, Ben Mellor, during his visit to Sri Lanka.

They further discussed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) at length, during which Minister Alles commended the recently introduced laws in Britain, adding that they were ‘essential’ in order to maintain law and order within a country.

Matters pertaining to four persons currently being detained under the PTA were also raised during the discussion, to which Alles explained that all four persons were being detained on suspicion of their involvement in the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 2019.

High Commissioner Hulton also noted that a training workshop would be organised, via Zoom, to educate Sri Lankan police officers on the proper use of the country’s rules and laws.

Mellor, along with Sarah Hulton, also met with a wide range of stakeholders in Colombo, Jaffna and Galle.

Commenting on the matter, Hulton said, “It was great to accompany our UK Director across three provinces this week, meeting important stakeholders across civil society, businesses and government. We had productive discussions about local concerns and priorities, and economic and development opportunities.”

During their visits to Galle and Jaffna, the visiting diplomat met with the governors of the Northern and Southern Provinces, toured a Red Cross Project site to hear about how UK funding has impacted vulnerable communities, and visited Jaffna University and the historic Jaffna Library.

Meanwhile, in Colombo, they met with the Minister for Public Security Tiran Alles, State Minister for Finance Shehan Semasinghe, and Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane.