UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt signs Condolence Book at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London

Media Release by SLHC

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs The Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP visited the Sri Lanka High Commission in London on Wednesday 24 April 2019 to offer condolences to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka following the tragic terror attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was received by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK Manisha Gunasekera. Following the signing the Book of Condolence, the Secretary of State conveyed his deepest condolences on behalf of the UK Government to the Government of Sri Lanka led by President Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan people, and especially the families of the victims. High Commissioner Gunasekera extended her deep appreciation to Foreign Secretary Hunt for the strong support being extended by the UK Government including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the aftermath of this tragedy.

The Book of Condolence was also signed by The Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 24 April. Minister Field also conveyed his deep commiserations to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner reiterated the sincere appreciation of the Sri Lankan Government to the UK Government at this very challenging time for the island nation.

The Leader of the Labour Party and the Leader of the Opposition The Rt Hon. Jeremy Corbyn, MP visited the Sri Lanka High Commission in London on Tuesday 23 April 2019 to offer condolences to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka following the tragic terror attacks of Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. The Leader of the Opposition was accompanied by The Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP (Labour) and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who were received by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK Manisha Gunasekera at the High Commission. MP Corbyn and MP Thornberry signed the Book of Condolence opened at the High Commission, following which they met with High Commissioner Gunasekera. MP Corbyn conveyed his sincere condolences and those of the Labour Party on the tragic incidents of Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka to the families of the victims, President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the people of Sri Lanka. He also conveyed through the High Commissioner his sincere condolences to the British Sri Lankan community of all faiths and ethnicities in the UK.

The Labour Leader welcomed the extension of support by the UK Government on specific areas of cooperation to the Sri Lankan Government in the aftermath of the tragic incidents. He recalled with fondness his visit to Sri Lanka in the 1980s and looked forward to further strengthening his links with Sri Lanka and all its communities. Shadow Foreign Secretary extended her strong support and looked forward to maintaining closer channels of cooperation. Deputy High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratna was also present at the meeting.

Secretary General of the Commonwealth The Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, visited the Sri Lanka High Commission in London on Tuesday 23rd April 2019 to offer condolences following the tragic terror attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.

The Secretary General who was received by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK Manisha Gunasekera at the High Commission, signed the Book of Condolence extending her sympathies on behalf of the Commonwealth to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, and especially to the victims of the tragic incidents. In a discussion with the High Commissioner, the Secretary General also referred to the necessity to have stronger cooperation within the Commonwealth to combat Violent Extremism and terrorist attacks of this magnitude.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP visited the Sri Lanka High Commission in London on Thursday 25 April 2019 to offer condolences to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka following the tragic terror attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. The Home Secretary was received by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK Manisha Gunasekera. Following the signing of the Book of Condolence, in a brief meeting with the High Commissioner, the Home Secretary conveyed his deepest condolences to the Sri Lankan Government and its people, especially to the families of the victims, as well as to the British Sri Lankan community in the UK. He expressed the support and solidarity of the UK Government to Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the brutal attacks. The High Commissioner extended her deep appreciation to the Home Secretary for his concern and support, and for the cooperation extended by the UK Government in the aftermath of this tragedy.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited the High Commission on Wednesday 24 April and signed the Book of Condolence. Appreciating the contribution of the British Sri Lankan community to Greater London’s prosperity, Mayor Khan expressed his support and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka of all faiths and denominations at this difficult time. The High Commissioner extended her sincere appreciation to Mayor Khan for his support.

On 25 April, the Book of Condolence was also signed by The Lord Naseby, Member of the House of Lords and Honorary President of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka (APPG SL) in the UK Parliament, the Rt Hon. Sir Hugo Swire MP, former FCO Minister of State for Asia, Ian Paisley MP, Seema Malhotra MP, Liz McInnes MP and Shadow Minister for South Asia, the Lord Sheikh, Rehman Chishti MP and Chair of APPG-Pakistan, Virendra Sharma MP and Chair of India-British APPG, and the London-based diplomatic corps, among other dignitaries. The Book of Condolence is also open at the High Commission for signing by the British Sri Lankan community until Saturday 27 April.