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Sri Lanka: Military Aid

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 96094, tabled on 28 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of withdrawing the UK's resident Defence Advisor from Sri Lanka in response to reported human rights abuses in that country.

Answered on

1 October 2020

As we seek to influence change, the UK's resident Defence Advisor's engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka forms an important contribution to our efforts to hasten the development of a modern, accountable and human rights compliant military. We carefully consider our engagement with individuals accused of human rights violations against the operational urgency and essential nature of the discussion. Recent engagement with key Sri Lankan officials has been to discuss urgent Covid-19 operational issues, including the safe return of British nationals to the UK and the welfare safeguarding of the remaining British nationals in Sri Lanka.