Sri Lanka

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:44 pm on 2nd May 2007.

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Photo of Neil Gerrard Neil Gerrard Labour, Walthamstow 5:44 pm, 2nd May 2007

That is an important point, which I had intended to deal with. Let me develop it now, as it has been raised. There is talk of being even-handed and looking at both sides of the question, but we are dealing on one side with a Government who have signed up to international conventions—in relation to human rights, for example. One should expect standards from a Government which one does not necessarily expect from a guerrilla organisation or an organisation described as a terrorist organisation.

It is no excuse for a Government to point to the activities of the LTTE and say, "Well, if the LTTE behaves like this, we have to take action." It is no excuse at all for a Government to be involved in breaches of human rights and point to the activities of the LTTE. Governments sign up to international conventions about how they will behave, and over the years there has been significant evidence that the Sri Lankan Government have not always lived up to the conventions to which they are signed up.