Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of John MacDougall John MacDougall Labour, Glenrothes

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the political situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

holding answer 14 July 2008

The UK's view is that there must be inclusive political negotiations for a just settlement that could satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all communities in Sri Lanka and promote democracy, stability and the observance of internationally accepted human rights principles.

The Government have grave concerns about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Issues of concern include the targeting of civilians, the recruitment of child soldiers in violation of international law, reports of mistreatment and of the intimidation of the media and continuing abductions and disappearances. Tamils are disproportionately affected.

My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, recently visited Sri Lanka to reiterate the UK's concerns to the Sri Lankan Government and to urge them and representatives of all communities to improve the human rights situation for all of its citizens.

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