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Sri Lanka: Politics and Government

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL954, tabled on 9 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the (1) economic, and (2) political, situation in Sri Lanka.

Answered on

23 June 2021

The UK government monitors economic and political developments in Sri Lanka very closely, including through the British High Commission in Colombo. As for many countries, the pandemic has affected Sri Lanka's rate of economic growth and level of debt. The UK has underlined the importance of an inclusive economic response including for marginalised groups and those most affected by the impacts of the pandemic.

The political and human rights situation in Sri Lanka remains concerning, including measures which extend executive control over independent institutions and the judiciary, pressure on civil society, continued militarisation of civilian functions, and increased marginalisation of minorities. On 23 March the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a new resolution, 46/1, led by the UK alongside our partners in the Core Group on Sri Lanka. This resolution provides a continued framework for international engagement on human rights in Sri Lanka, and highlights serious concerns about the situation, including those detailed in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It calls on the government of Sri Lanka to make progress on accountability and human rights, and stresses the importance of a comprehensive accountability process for all violations and abuses committed in Sri Lanka.

Minister for South Asia Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon has raised the importance of human rights, accountability and reconciliation with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK in January and May respectively. The UK government will continue to engage with the government of Sri Lanka on our human rights concerns.