Sri Lanka

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 2:48 pm on 2nd May 2007.

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Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office 2:48 pm, 2nd May 2007

The hon. Gentleman made that point well—I could not have made it more vividly.

The Tamil community has been especially concerned about deteriorating human rights in Sri Lanka. Its concern is understandable—many of its members have first-hand accounts of the difficulties that their friends and family face daily. Earlier, I spoke about the abductions, disappearances, intimidation and extra-judicial killings that have regrettably become commonplace. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have made our position clear to the Government of Sri Lanka. There has to be an end to the culture of impunity. Those responsible for human rights violations should be brought to justice.

We have welcomed the establishment of a President's commission and an eminent persons group to observe the commission's work. The British Government are funding the participation of Sir Nigel Rodley, an internationally respected professor of law, in that group. We shall continue to raise our concerns with the Sri Lankan Government.