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Meet journalists, MPs and media to tackle negative publicity: UK Sinhala Association  tells Lankan envoy Send Deputy or staff to light oil lamps at Sri Lankan events.

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London, Dr. Chris Nonis conducted a pre-CHOGM Forum for the expatriate community in Britain at the mission last week. 

Addressing the invited gathering of Sri Lankans, he said that he chaired meetings of Commonwealth representatives and held many meetings with British MPs to explain the true situation in Sri Lanka. 

At a recent seminar, Nonis challenged Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch to disclose the source of his funding, but Adams could not come up with a credible explanation. Callum McCrae, the producer of Channel 4 films who was another speaker was equally coy about the funding and his knowledge of the situation in Sri Lanka was dependent on false reports of the Tamil Diaspora.  

The High Commissioner stressed the importance of all Sri Lankans teaming up to propagate the tremendous achievements of their motherland within such a short span of time since the war ended.    He also thanked members of his staff who were active in pushing for the hosting of the Commonwealth Heads Of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo.

One of the invitees, Douglas Wickramaratne, President, Sinhala Association complained about the lack of proper communications between the Mission and activists.

He said that the recent seminar where High Commissioner debated with Channel 4 and Human Rights Watch and others details  were sent to him only on the day of the seminar.

In reply to a statement by the High Commissioner that he had attended over 200 functions of Sri Lankans, Wickramaratne said that no useful purpose was served by attending such events, which were mere photo opportunities. "The High Commissioner should concentrate on meeting journalists, members of parliament and the media to counter the negative publicity to the country. It would be much better to send the Deputy or other staff members to light the oil lamp at these Sri Lankan events", he suggested.

During question and answer session, a Tamil doctor said that he is a retired psychiatrist  living in UK and had visited Jaffna recently and was willing to offer his services for the reconciliation process.

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

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