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Sri Lanka

Volume 543: debated on Tuesday 17 April 2012

The most recent discussions with the Sri Lankan Government possible were at the March meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. We lobbied for and supported a resolution that was passed at the meeting which we believe will assist in creating new impetus for Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

I thank the Minister for his answer. On Saturday I attended a Sri Lankan new year cultural programme in my constituency, which was part of important work to build links and trust between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Does he agree that it is now vital for the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that there is a credible, independent investigation of the alleged abuses on both sides as part of taking a critical step towards long-lasting peace, as called for by the UNHRC?

The hon. Lady’s presence at such a meeting indicates how important it is for the process of reconciliation to be accepted on all sides. There is no doubt that the lingering doubt about the events at the end of the conflict will produce a cloud and a shadow over that. We have been at the forefront of calling for a credible inquiry into those circumstances and we believe that the passing of the Human Rights Council resolution produces a new opportunity for us and Sri Lanka to deal with this and other aspects of reconciliation detailed in the Commission’s recommendations.