Sri Lanka: Minority Groups

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th June 2019.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Sri Lankan counterpart on the importance of protecting the rights of (a) Muslims and (b) other minorities.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The UK Government continues to raise concerns regarding incidents of violence and intimidation against Muslims and minority groups. We have actively engaged with the Sri Lankan authorities, faith and community leaders to ensure the protection of minorities and to encourage an inclusive response to the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks that brings different communities and faith groups together to tackle violent extremism and protect minority groups. The Minister of State for Security, Ben Wallace, visited Sri Lanka on 2-3 May and met President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and faith leaders where he underlined this message. Lord Ahmad and I have also raised the issue of protection for minority groups directly with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner.

The High Commission in Colombo recently joined an European Union statement calling on political, religious and other community leaders to speak out against violence and all those inciting unrest and distrust and to make every effort to promote understanding and harmony between communities.

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