Sri Lanka: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 5th January 2010.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the Sri Lankan Government's progress towards political reconciliation in the country since the end of the military conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

At the end of May the Sri Lankan President issued a joint statement with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognising the need to work towards a lasting political solution. The UK has consistently maintained that one of the prerequisites for lasting peace in Sri Lanka is a political settlement that fully takes into account the legitimate grievances and aspirations of all communities. Presidential elections have now been announced for 26 January 2010.

Parliamentary elections in spring 2010 will be a further opportunity for the voice of Sri Lanka's communities to be heard. Free, fair and credible elections will allow Sri Lanka's communities to have their say in shaping the country's future. Adequate arrangements must be made to ensure that internally displaced persons can vote in upcoming elections.

It is important for all those who want to play a role in Sri Lanka's future to agree to an inclusive political solution that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary released a written ministerial statement on 15 December 2009, which gives a detailed assessment of the political situation in Sri Lanka. A link to the statement can be found at the following internet address:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm091215/wmstext/91215m0003.htm#09121534000482

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