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Sri Lanka: Armed Conflict

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with representatives of the Sri Lankan government on (a) the prevention of civilian casualties and (b) protection for displaced people in Sri Lanka. (258466)

When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary telephoned President Rajapakse on 30 January 2009, they discussed the humanitarian situation. He made clear our concerns over the civilians caught up in the fighting in northern Sri Lanka.

In a statement on 2 February 2009, which is available for viewing on the internet at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/latest-news/?view= PressS&id=13166258,

he urged both the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers Tamil of Eelam to respond appropriately to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, in particular by allowing the wounded to receive medical treatment; civilians to leave the conflict area; and unrestricted access for humanitarian agencies.

We continue to raise these issues with the Sri Lankan Government at the highest level.