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BRITISH DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSIONER VISITS THE SOUTHERN PROVINCE

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:20 Written by Administrator Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:13

“I was struck by the scale of development for the future and the strength of British support for local communities”

 

British Deputy High Commissioner, Robbie Bulloch, paid an official visit to Sri Lanka’s Southern Province on 11-12 June, 2012. In Hambantota, Tangalle, Matara, Ahangama and Galle, he and a British High Commission (BHC) team learnt about economic, educational and community development in the region and the positive role UK organisations and individuals are playing in support.

In Hambantota, the Deputy High Commissioner’s programme included a visit to the new air and sea ports. He also met a group of young entrepreneurs supported by the Hambantota Youth Business Programme, which is linked to the UK’s Prince of Wales’s Business Leaders Forum.

In Tangalle, he attended a teacher training workshop organised by SPICE, a UK charity started by Mohan Samarasinhe, which has been supporting English language education in local schools since 2006.

In Matara, he visited Women In Need, a Sri Lankan organisation which provides assistance to victims of domestic violence. He also enjoyed a musical performance by a group of young people supported by the British Council.

In Ahangama, he visited the Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project (SLWSP), a UK charity established by Christina Fonfé, which has taught over 2,500 Sri Lankan women to swim since the 2004 tsunami, in which 80% of those who drowned were women and children.

Mr Bulloch’s other meetings included those with Hon. Minister Chandima Rasaputra, the Southern Province Minister of Education; Rear Admiral Lakshman Illangakoon, the Southern Naval Commander; Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Lalith Jayasinghe; Indian Consul-General for Hambantota, R Raghunathan; and members of the JVP party.

 

The BHC team also paid their respects in Tangalle at the site of the death of Khuram Shaikh, the young British man who was murdered on 25 December, 2011.

Commenting on his visit, the British Deputy High Commissioner said, “We experienced the warmth and hospitality of the South as we met a broad range of people across this important and beautiful region. I was struck not only by the scale of development for the future, but also by the strength and breadth of British support for local communities. Dedicated Sri Lankans and Britons are doing impressive work together to promote trade, entrepreneurship, skills development, safety and security. British tourists also continue to play a major economic role in the region and across the country, as the second largest tourist group. It is encouraging to see so much good work being done, with so many people maintaining and invigorating the close relationship between Sri Lanka and the UK.”

 

Notes to Editors

Photo captions:

  1. British Deputy High Commissioner, Robbie Bulloch, at the runway of the Mattala airport in Hambantota.
  2. British Deputy High Commissioner, Robbie Bulloch, with Christina Fonfé and the Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project group.
 

UK ANNOUNCES REFORM OF FAMILY MIGRATION POLICY

Written by Administrator Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:11

The UK government yesterday announced a major overhaul of family migration policy which will help stop foreign criminals hiding behind human rights laws to avoid deportation and ensure that only migrants who can support themselves financially may establish their family life in the UK.

The changes are intended to increase integration, tackle abuse of family migration and reduce pressure on public services. They are part of the government’s programme of reforming UK migration policy and follow wide consultation and expert advice. Most of these changes will come into force from 9 July 2012.

New UK immigration rules will mean deportation should become the normal consequence for anyone receiving a custodial sentence of at least 12 months. For criminals jailed for more than four years, the public interest in removal will outweigh the right to private and family life in all but the most exceptional circumstances.                                

For the first time UK Parliament will have a debate, scheduled for 19 June, on what level of criminal behaviour should outweigh human rights claims from foreign offenders.

British Home Minister Theresa May said:

“It is unacceptable that foreign nationals whose criminal behaviour undermines our way of life can use weak human rights claims to dodge deportation.

 

“We want these new rules to make it clear when the rights of the law abiding majority will outweigh a foreign criminal’s right to family and private life. By voting on this in the House of Commons, Parliament will define for the first time where the balance should lie.”

 

The key changes announced also include:

  • a minimum income of £18,600 for those who wish to sponsor the settlement of a non-EU spouse or partner in the UK. This level is based on advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), and is calculated as the level at which a couple generally ceases to be able to access income-related benefits. Higher income requirements will apply to dependent children: £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;
  • increasing the minimum probationary period from two years to five years before non-EU spouses and partners can apply for settlement, in order to better determine the genuineness of the relationship and to deter sham marriages;

 

  • requiring a couple that has been living together overseas for at least four years to complete a five-year probationary period before settlement is granted. This alters the existing arrangement whereby a migrant partner in these circumstances has been able to obtain immediate settlement in the UK;

 

  • allowing non-EU adult and elderly dependent relatives to settle in the UK only where they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative and without recourse to public funds, and requiring them to apply from overseas;

 

  • from October 2013, requiring applicants for settlement to pass the Life in the UK test and present an English language speaking and listening qualification at intermediate level (B1 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) or above, unless they are exempt.

Home Minister Theresa May added:

“We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution but family life must not be established here at the taxpayer’s expense.

“To play a full part in British life, family migrants must be able to integrate – that means they must speak our language and pay their way. This is fair to applicants, but also fair to the public.

“British citizens can enter into a relationship with whoever they choose but if they want to establish their family life here, they must do so in a way which works in the best interests of our society.”

The radical reform of the approach to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to family and private life, will be debated in Parliament.

The new rules will set out clearly, as a matter of public policy, the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK as a result of their family life and how the UK Border Agency will balance the factors that can weigh for or against an Article 8 claim.

People have a right to respect for private and family life under Article 8, however, it is legitimate for the government to interfere with the exercise of that right, where it is necessary, proportionate and in the public interest to do so.

The tough new rules on deportation for different levels of criminality will also enable the deportation of those sentenced to less than 12 months if their offending behaviour is deemed by the Minister to be sufficiently persistent, serious or harmful.

 

Notes to Editors

  1. 1.The UK government is reforming all major routes of entry to the UK in order to reduce migration to sustainable levels. Changes to family migration policy follow reforms already made to the work, study and work-related settlement routes, completing reform of all major migration policies.

 

  1. 2.On 13 July 2011, the UK government published “Family Migration - a consultation”, which set out proposed reforms of the family route. The consultation ran for 12 weeks until 6 October 2011. The consultation document is available at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/consultations/family-migration/consultation.pdf?view=Binary

 

  1. 3.In July 2011, the UK government commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to provide advice on the minimum income threshold for sponsoring a partner and any dependants on the family route. The MAC conducted its own consultation and published a report on 16 November 2011. This is available at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/workingwithus/mac/family-migration-route/

 

  1. 4.Full details of the announcement on family migration can be found in the Statement of Intent at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/immigration/family-migration

 

  1. 5.The UK government announced the intention to remove the full right of appeal for family visitor visas as part of the Crime and Courts Bill, published on 11 May. Further details are available in the press release at: http://ukinsrilanka.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=764137382

 

 
 
 

Hounslow Sill Programe

Written by Administrator Tuesday, 22 May 2012 11:07

Venue : Lampton School, Lampton Avenue, Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 4EP

A full day program is being held 4th Sunday of every month at "LAMPTON SCHOOL in Hounslow" from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. The program includes observance of the eight precepts, dhamma sermons, meditation, dhamma discussions, buddha vandana and various meritorious activities through out the day.

more information: http://www.mahamevnawaimc.org/

 
 

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