Bob Blackman joined 8 other MPs on a Parliamentary trip to Sri Lanka to see how Sri Lanka is progressing following the 30 year civil war and to assess the opportunities for increased trade.
The group arrived in Colombo and held meetings with the British High Commissioner, the Minister for Economic Development, External Affairs Minister, Defence Minister, the Business Council and the Opposition.
Bob used the opportunity to call on Sri Lankan leaders to make clear what had happened to the many missing people from the civil war and to assist relatives in finding out the locations of refugees.
The group then travelled to Kandy to see the Perahera, the world-renowned parade around the town of Kandy. The group met the President and then travelled to Jaffna to see the work that is going on to provide new houses for refugees. The group visited Jaffna Hospital to see the scale of redevelopment work required.
The Group visited Killinochchi to see the work that is going on to remove the estimated 1 million land mines buried during the civil war.
At Trincomalee, the group met the R. Sampanthan, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance, to hear at first hand concerns about the Sri Lankan government.
The group travelled to the new international airport at Mattala and the new deep water sea harbour at Magampura. Both of these major developments are being undertaken by China which represents a major threat to the safety of shipping lanes and travel to India and to Europe.