British Foreign Minister William Hague told the House of Commons today that Britain will use the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November to draw attention to human rights concerns in Sri Lanka.
Responding to a question raised on Sri Lanka, Hague said that Britain is concerned about human rights in Sri Lanka, including media freedom.
“We raise those issues regularly with the Sri Lankan Government. The Prime Minister and I have decided to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka. We think that the Commonwealth and its future matter so much that we must do that, no matter what the location. However, we will do so in a way that draws attention to the issues. We and other countries will continue to press Sri Lanka on those issues over the coming weeks,” he said.
He also said that all parties in this House seek progress in Sri Lanka on a wide range of issues, including implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission; ensuring that there is media freedom and the operation of non-governmental organisations and ensuring that not only is there reconstruction after the conflict, but that all political persuasions have a genuine ability to participate in democracy.
“We are looking for continued improvements in Sri Lanka across quite a broad front and we will be able to make those points at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)