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Sri Lanka: Human Rights

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are making representations to the Government of Sri Lanka concerning (a) Mr J S Tissainayagam, alleged to have been held in custody without charge for over 100 days; and (b) Mr V Jasiharan and two other men held by the Terrorism Investigation Department, one of whom alleges torture. [HL4234]

In June, our high commissioner in Colombo raised the case of the detention of Mr J S Tissainayagam and his associates at high level with Sri Lankan Government representatives. The EU and US ambassadors in Colombo have taken similar action. We do have serious concerns about a growing number of attacks and incidents of intimidation against journalists in Sri Lanka, which ranks 156 out of 169 entries in the Reporters Sans Frontieres Worldwide Press Freedom Index. On 10 June, I told President Rajapakse that Sri Lanka needs to do more to meet her international human rights obligations. I recommended that an independent monitoring mechanism could play a role in this.