Sri Lanka

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:56 pm on 2nd May 2007.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Shadow Minister without Portfolio, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (without Portfolio) 5:56 pm, 2nd May 2007

The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point. This is a cleft stick for the Government. False claims are false claims, but I have seen too many cases where bona fide claims for asylum have been rejected. Despite making the strongest possible representations, people have been returned, sometimes never to be heard of again.

My final point relates to the ban. Keith Vaz rightly suggested that it was counter-productive. It may well be. I hope that the Minister can develop the response that his colleague gave me when I asked about the possibility of a process for reviewing the ban. Can the Government be a little clearer about how they could involve Members in looking at the issue again? They should do so, for the following reason.

When the statutory instrument was originally passed proscribing the LTTE, it was one of more than 20 organisations named in it. There was no single debate about the LTTE, just one debate on the whole statutory instrument. We did not have 20-odd separate votes after 20-odd separate debates—just one. Of course those regulations included a number of organisations that really needed to be proscribed, as the whole House agreed, but I believe that there is a debate—a legitimate debate—about whether the LTTE should be proscribed, and it ought to be heard. The process that proscribed the LTTE in the first place was inadequate. That, in itself, is an argument in favour of a review at the very least.