As I said to Parliament on 15 September, the Sri Lankan
parliamentary elections in August were the freest, fairest and least violent in living memory. The Prime Minister
, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron
) and The Secretary of State
for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) congratulated the Government of Sri Lanka
on the peaceful elections and reiterated that the United Kingdom remains a steadfast partner on reconciliation and peace. The August elections in Sri Lanka have resulted in a government committed to reconciliation and peace building. President Sirisena set out his government’s priorities to Parliament on 1 September. These included constitutional reforms; abolishing the Executive Presidency; electoral reform; strengthening institutions; and reforming the public sector and welfare systems. While we recognise that more needs to be done there has been some early progress with constitutional reforms strengthening democratic checks and balances, some land previously under military use being returned and military Governors in the north and east being replaced by civilians. Within this context, on 16 September I welcomed the publication of the Office of the High Commissioner
of Human Rights
report into allegations of serious violations and abuses of human rights in Sri Lanka.