Sri Lanka and Maldives are priorities for human rights for the UK, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Laura Davies said.In a blog posting she said that to work on human rights issues in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the High Commission has access to the Magna Carta Fund, a strategic programme fund dedicated to tackling the root causes of human rights violations overseas. Davis said that successful projects will uphold democratic values and the rule of law, support an effective rules-based international order and promote a more stable world by upholding universal rights in tackling conflict and extremism. “We gathered all these potential partners together to increase our and their ability to bid successfully into the Fund, supporting our work with the Government of Sri Lanka to address long-standing human rights issues here, and with civil society in Maldives to protect a space which is under increasing threat. The bidding window is open until 8 February, and we look forward to some really strong bids this year, particularly on freedom of expression, preventing sexual and gender-based violence, torture prevention and building the capacity of women and women’s organisations to contribute to post-conflict processes,” she said.Davis said that democracy is an essential building block for a secure and prosperous society. Last year, the British High Commission in Colombo spent almost 750 million Sri Lankan rupees (around £350,000) enabling more informed and additional observation, and better and more widespread voter education for Sri Lanka’s Presidential and General elections. (Colombo Gazette) She said that earlier this week in Colombo, the High Commission gathered together a group of civil society and human rights organisations.