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Sri Lanka: Politics and Government

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account is taken of the views of Sri Lankans resident in the UK in formulating UK foreign policy on Sri Lanka. (316580)

In formulating its policy towards Sri Lanka the UK takes into consideration all relevant factors, including the views of the Government of Sri Lanka and other international partners. The views of British nationals of Sri Lankan origin are also considered. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regularly meet with representatives from Sri Lankan communities. Ministers and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Des Browne), have also had meetings with them. The UK's view remains that lasting peace in Sri Lanka can only come about through a fully inclusive political process that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict. Following the recent presidential election in Sri Lanka my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote to President Rajapakse urging him to use his mandate to take forward that process. Genuine reconciliation between Sri Lanka's communities will depend in large part on the Government protecting and promoting the rights of all Sri Lankans.