Sri Lanka

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Sri Lankan Government's National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission; and what recent representations he has made to the Government of Sri Lanka on ensuring accountability for human rights violations and reforms to promote reconciliation.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We continue to have concerns about human rights in Sri Lanka including political violence and intimidation of the media. We have urged the Sri Lanka Government to make progress in implementing the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution. Sri Lanka's July 2012 Action Plan on implementing the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission recommendations fulfils one of the Council's requests. We look to Sri Lanka to implement the Action Plan and to address other elements of the resolution including alleged violations of international law.

We look forward to actively contributing to Sri Lanka's Universal Periodic Review at the HRC in November. In that context, the UK made clear in a statement on 17 September 2012 to the HRC that we continued to monitor developments in Sri Lanka and looked forward to a visit to the country by the high commissioner for human rights.

The Prime Minister emphasised the need for accountability and reconciliation most recently in a short discussion with President Rajapaksa at the Commonwealth Secretary General's lunch on 6 June 2012. The Foreign Secretary made the same points when he met the Sri Lankan Minister for External Affairs on 6 June.

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