His briefing explained efforts by the Government to restore democracy through constitutional, administrative and cultural changes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to have regular briefings for diplomats and the media based in Sri Lanka.Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the Ministry has appointed Ms. Mahishini Collonne as the official spokesperson to hold regular briefings and interactions with the media and diplomatic community. Samaraweera said this when he briefed ambassadors representing twenty four countries and other senior diplomatic officials on the achievements of the Government over the last four months. He also outlined some of the government’s future plans. Samaraweera also noted that Sri Lanka, whose foreign policy has been reset to serve the interests of all Sri Lankans, was eager to regain its position as a constructive and respected member of the international community. (Colombo Gazette) The critical importance the government placed on efforts to build a “truly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society where diversity is celebrated” and where all citizens would enjoy “full and equal citizenship” was also emphasized.In this context, he highlighted efforts underway to win the trust of all Sri Lankans and discussed plans to address key issues especially missing persons, restoring land to rightful owners and reconciliation.
Around 100 firefighters battled a blaze on the top floor of a block of flats in north-west London early on Thursday.Fifty people were evacuated from the block, while firefighters helped bring out two people on the first floor of the building.The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said 15 engines attended the scene in Inglewood Road, West Hampstead, after being called at just after 1am.About four-and-a-half hours later, the LFB said the fire was under control and no one was taken to hospital.The fire, which was visible for miles, was on the fifth, and top, floor of the building and the cause was not yet known, LFB added. Just spoke to @bbc5live about the fire in #westhampstead – we can see flames billowing into the sky & heat glass breaking from the windows blowing out. pic.twitter.com/4EFdKcLlOA— Angelica Malin (@jellymalin) July 26, 2018 Clainton Murray, station manager, said: “The fire is believed to have started in a flat on the fourth floor.”The flat was severely damaged by fire and a large part of the roof was also destroyed. In the early stages the fire was very visible and could be seen for miles around.” “It’s so scary – my flat is filled with the smell of smoke. The firemen have been amazing and I feel comforted by the incredible response.” The nearby Black Lion pub, on West End Lane, opened its doors to people affected by the blaze.A tweet read: “Please anyone near stay safe. We will be here all night.”Angelica Malin described watching the blaze from her bedroom window. Firefighters tackle a blaze in a block of flats on fire in West Hampstead, LondonCredit:Reuters “I can see firefighters inside as the roof is on fire and there’s two men on cranes working on putting the roof fire out,” she told the BBC. Unbelievable to see this [email protected] back garden. Hoping no casualties but fire under control now. #WestHampstead @LondonFire pic.twitter.com/pQBWZlZOvE— matt (@matt4lis) July 26, 2018 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.