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Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of India on the resettlement of members of its Christian community in Orissa. (290914)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not discussed the resettlement of Christian communities with the Indian Government. However the Government welcome the Indian central government's efforts to protect communities, including their efforts to restore law and order and their offer of compensation and assistance to victims of communal violence including in Orissa.

The EU sent a fact finding mission to Orissa in December 2008, in which a member of our High Commission participated, and reported their concerns to the Indian Government. The question of minority rights in Orissa and other affected states following the violence in 2008 was raised at the last EU-India Human Rights Dialogue meeting in early 2009.

We will continue to monitor the situation and raise any concerns relating to the human rights of all minorities in India as appropriate.