Sri Lanka - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:52 pm on 13 July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 3:52, 13 July 2022

My Lords, as the noble Lord will know from his own insight, we do not keep specific track of the numbers there, but we have a very strong Sri Lankan diaspora here in United Kingdom and many dual nationals. On Saturday I spoke to our chargé on the ground to ensure that we have the support in post for any increase in consular inquiries. There had been no increase, certainly up until Saturday. I also convened a meeting this morning to ensure that there is a specific plan regarding the humanitarian, economic and political support we can provide with key partners, but also the support we can provide to British citizens seeking to leave, as the noble Lord highlights. We have the experiences of Covid repatriation and other crises, which will ensure that, if and when required, we can mobilise the resources we need in Colombo and here in London to provide the support UK citizens might need.