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Sri Lanka: India

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department’s policy is on anti-religious conversion laws in (a) Sri Lanka and (b) India. (285354)

We continue to monitor religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka. A wide range of issues including religious freedom were raised at the last round of the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue which took place in New Delhi on 27 February 2009. In addition the Government work bilaterally with the Government of India in supporting efforts to tackle human rights issues. We regularly raise a wide range of human rights issues with the Sri Lankan Government including any legislation that reduces religious freedoms protected by international human rights law. We are aware that the draft “Forcible Conversions Bill”, relating to religious freedoms Sri Lanka, is currently awaiting further discussion in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The EU expressed its concern at the draft Bill in a statement on 23 February 2009.