Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 13th January 2009.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Chief Whip (Commons) 2:30 pm, 13th January 2009

I am grateful to the Minister for his response. Quite rightly, the eyes of the world are focused on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, I should like to refer to another humanitarian crisis, which was marked only yesterday by the attendance of thousands of mourners at the funeral in Sri Lanka of a newspaper editor who was murdered last week. Intimidation and violence are the hallmarks of Governments who do not respect the freedom of the press. Some 70,000 people in that country have died in the conflict and many have fled their homes. There have been press reports suggesting that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are on the verge of being defeated by the military. If that is so, what additional steps will the Government take to ensure that the minority Tamil population really do have their human rights respected, and that peace and justice prevail?

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