Sri Lanka: Human Rights

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker Conservative, Wycombe

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to bring forward a new UN Human Rights Council resolution on bringing perpetrators of violations of human rights to justice in Sri Lanka using an Independent Investigative Mechanism model at the next meeting of the UN (a) Human Rights Council and (b) General Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK has long supported efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, including in our role as penholder on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). We firmly believe that UNHRC resolution 30/1, and its successor resolutions 34/1 and 40/1, remain the best framework for establishing truth and achieving justice and lasting reconciliation following the conflict in Sri Lanka. We have made this clear in statements delivered on behalf of the Core Group on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in February, June and September.

The Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has also raised the importance of justice and accountability on several occasions with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, most recently during calls on 4 and 5 November respectively. We will continue to engage with the Government of Sri Lanka to underline the importance we attach to this issue. Ahead of the March 2021 session of the UNHRC, we will continue to work with our international partners and with the HRC on how best to take forward this longstanding priority for the UK.

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