To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Sri Lankan Government on the destruction of a church building in Pahariya in North West Sri Lanka in January 2017.
20 February 2017
We condemn all violence against religious minorities, including the attack on a church in North West Sri Lanka in January. The freedom to practise, change or share your faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a fundamental human right that all people should enjoy. The UK regularly raises human rights concerns with the Sri Lankan government. Most recently, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my noble Friend, the Rt Hon. the Baroness Anelay of St Johns stressed the importance of Sri Lanka protecting the rights of all its citizens when she met with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister during her visit to Sri Lanka in November 2016.
The UK is committed to supporting government and civil society efforts to improve human rights in Sri Lanka and we are currently funding a range of projects in support of this. One of these projects supports interfaith dialogue, aimed at promoting cohesion between those of different backgrounds and beliefs.