Locke off to Sri Lanka to inspect peace process

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke leaves for Sri Lanka this afternoon on a fact-finding mission into the peace process underway there.

“I will be meeting with representatives of the major political parties, the government, and the Norwegian mediators,” said Mr Locke, who will be accompanied by an Australian MP for part of the trip.

After meetings in Colombo, Mr Locke will travel north to the Tamil city of Jaffna. He will have further meetings there and then travel south overland to Colombo. Along the way he will talk with Tamil Tiger representatives, and NGOs involved in grassroots activity to improve conditions for a lasting peace.

“I will be interested in finding what other things New Zealand can do to help advance peace and reconstruction in Sri Lanka,” said Mr Locke. “New Zealand is already funding a de-mining programme and I’d like to see how that is going.”