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Sri Lanka: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 131934, tabled on 12 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of freedom of religion or belief in Sri Lanka after recent reports of religious-based violence in Kandy.

Answered on

15 March 2018

I remain concerned by the recent inter-communal violence in Sri Lanka and I wrote to Foreign Minister Marapana on 7 March setting out my views. Prior to the recent inter-communal violence in Sri Lanka, we assess that there was a worrying growth in incidents of religiously motivated violence and communal tensions in Sri Lanka in 2017. We welcome steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to address these issues and encourage the authorities to ensure that those responsible for inciting religious hatred are held accountable.

The UK is committed to supporting government and civil society efforts to improve human rights in Sri Lanka. We are currently funding a range of projects through a multi-year Conflict Stability and Security Fund programme to promote inter-faith and inter-communal dialogue and dispute resolution at local level in eastern Sri Lanka, one of the most diverse regions. Sri Lanka remains an FCO Human Rights Priority country.

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