Sri Lanka

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 3:38 pm on 2nd May 2007.

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament 3:38 pm, 2nd May 2007

That is a vital part of the process. As part of the peace-making negotiations in Northern Ireland, the tiniest of the parties elected had exactly the same say in the process, even though their votes did not necessarily carry the same weight. The necessary will, trust and confidence also have to be there. They can sometimes take many months—even years—to develop, but will, trust, confidence, parity of esteem and the equality of treatment of everybody, whatever their views might be, are essential.

I hope to visit Sri Lanka in the not-too-distant future and to take part in telling the story of our peace process in Northern Ireland. I am reminded of something that Lee Kuan Yew said, which some Members might also remember. When he was building Singapore, he wanted his country to become something like Ceylon, as it was then called. Now, of course, it should be the aim of everybody in Sri Lanka to ensure that their country becomes as prosperous, dignified and civilised a country as any other in the world.