British High Commissioner visits Southern Province
British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin, concluded a
three-day tour of the Southern Province recently. "During my visit I saw
the strong historical links between Sri Lanka and the UK and our
dynamic, modern relationship," he said.
"In Unawatuna, I saw our strong cultural and linguistic links in
action. Two retired British teachers Alan and Jo Brown are doing great
work for Project Trust at the Unawatuna Maha Vidyalaya. Together with
their team of young British volunteers they are helping teachers and
students achieve greater fluency and confidence in their use of English,
using creative cross-curricular content, including IT and drama.
The magnificent Galle Fort, is a slice of living history. The Fort
simultaneously displays historical influences and the hustle and bustle
of modern life. The Fort is now home to a substantial British expatriate
community. It was a pleasure to meet some of these British nationals and
hear their stories, told with great affection, about life in Sri Lanka.
In Hambantota, I was delighted to visit the bungalow of another
Briton who has made a lasting impression on the area: Leonard Woolf, the
writer, who served as Assistant Government Agent from 1908-1911. Woolf
started out as a colonial administrator but developed a deep connection
with the people of Sri Lanka and became a strong advocate for the end of
colonial rule. My visit to the Southern province has been exciting and
useful, giving me insight into different communities in the region.
I am touched and honoured by the warm welcome given to me at every
turn. The Sri Lankan fame for hospitality is truly well-deserved."
During the third day of his visit to the south, the High Commissioner
met the Governor of the Southern Province, Senior Superintendent of
Police, opposition politicians and several British nationals living and
working in Galle, including youth volunteers.