To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has discussed political violence in Sri Lanka with (a) the Sri Lankan Government and (b) other partners in that region.
19 May 2022
The UK Government is concerned by the outbreaks of violence that followed on from the attacks against peaceful protesters at Galle Face, in Colombo, on 09 May. The Minister of State for South Asia, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has emphasised that violence against peaceful protestors is unacceptable. Those responsible for attacks should be held to account, and fundamental rights including the right to peaceful protest must be protected.
We discuss our concerns with the Government of Sri Lanka. Lord Ahmad raised the need to improve human rights and deliver justice and accountability with the Sri Lankan President and Foreign Minister when he visited Sri Lanka 18-20 January 2022. The Foreign Secretary raised the importance of upholding human rights when she met Foreign Minister Peiris on 26 October 2021.
The UK Government has urged all parties to explore constructive and democratic ways of resolving the current political and economic challenges. The UK High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton, has called for independent and transparent investigations into violence against peaceful protesters. My officials are engaging with counterparts in the region on this issue and will continue to closely monitor political, economic and security developments in Sri Lanka.