Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:27 am on 24th March 2009.

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Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Opposition Whip (Commons) 11:27 am, 24th March 2009

Hon. Members have made a powerful case for suspending Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth, and there has been talk of the Harare declaration. Of course, Zimbabwe has been suspended from the Commonwealth with very little effect. I wonder whether suspension from the Commonwealth only really makes sense as a stepping stone and a rallying point to a UN resolution, and whether in practical terms—other than giving voice to a subject that does not have a proper voice in the UK—it would not actually be that substantive to the Government of Sri Lanka unless it led to the next stepping stone, which would be a full UN resolution.