The Department for International Development (DFID) Ministers have discussed the need for an independent assessment of the humanitarian situation in their recent engagements with Sri Lankan officials. I raised the issue with the Sri Lankan high commissioner on 4 December. My hon. Friend, the Minister of State (Mr. Thomas) also discussed the humanitarian situation with the high commissioner on 26 November.
Diplomatic efforts are ongoing at the highest level. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister has written to President Rajapakse to express his concerns at the humanitarian situation, including the need for a full independent assessment to be carried out. The British high commissioner in Colombo also regularly presses for increased humanitarian access and the need for an independent needs assessment in his contacts with Government officials at senior levels, including with the President.