Sri Lanka

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 16th January 2015.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his new Sri Lankan counterpart on protecting the Tamil and Muslim minority communities; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

On 9 January the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), congratulated Maithripala Sirisena on his victory in the Presidential elections, and also encouraged President Sirisena to support the ongoing UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights investigation into human rights abuses. The issues of the past must be addressed so Sri Lanka can move forward to a brighter, peaceful future where all Sri Lankans can play a role.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymead and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), said that Sri Lanka has a renewed opportunity now to grow as a stable, prosperous and inclusive country, reflecting the wishes of all its people.

I personally spoke to the new Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 12 January and made clear that we look forward to working with the new government and reinvigorating the long standing partnership between the UK and Sri Lanka. We will continue to engage with the new Sri Lankan government on the concern of minority communities.

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