Increasing trust between the Tamils and the civil administration in the war-scarred north is vital for Sri Lanka achieving "long-term reconciliation", the British envoy here said today.
John Rankin, the British High Commissioner made these comments during a visit to Puthukuduyrippu, a former LTTE nerve centre, to talk about the UK funded community policing programme.
The programme, implemented in collaboration with The Asia Foundation, focuses on building relations between local police personnel and the communities in which they serve.
"I was pleased to speak to both the police personnel and the local communities involved in this programme. They spoke about the changes the community policing programme has brought to their villages; increased trust in the police; and the understanding of the role they can play to reduce crime.
"Increasing confidence between the local community and the civil administration is an important part of long-term reconciliation," Rankin was quoted as saying by Colombo Gazette.
Rankin further said that the project is aimed at increasing the numbers of Tamil police officers and women police officers in former conflict areas in order to ensure greater sensitivity towards minority communities.
Since the conflict ended in 2009, Lankan police has enrolled hundreds of Tamil officers under this programme and deployed them in the former conflict zones, which are pre-dominantly Tamil speaking.
The programme, initiated in 2012, works with 142 police stations across all 9 provinces, covering a third of police stations across the country.