Sri Lanka: Tamils

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Deputy General of the Commonwealth on the status of Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

​We have not recently discussed the status of Tamil people in Sri Lanka with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth. However, we welcomed her visit to Colombo in August, during which she offered Commonwealth support on good governance and accountability.

The UK is committed to supporting human rights and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans. While we welcome some recent progress against its UN Human Rights Council commitments, more remains to be done. I visited Colombo in October where I urged the government to make more progress, including towards the establishment of transitional justice and accountability mechanisms; devolution through constitutional reform; and the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. I also met Tamil National Alliance leader and human rights and civil society activists. In August we announced £1 million of extra UK funding to support resettlement of war-displaced families in the predominantly Tamil north and east. Total UK funding is now £7.9 million for 2016-2019.

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