MPs pull out of Sri Lanka trip over UN inquiry

British parliament    MP Sharon Hodgson has spoken about her decision to withdraw from a controversial trip to Sri Lanka.

The representative for Washington and Sunderland West was due to travel to the country on an all-costs-covered visit, supported by the Foundation of Goodness, founded by cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan.

The bowler is an ethnic Tamil and has come under fire for his support of the Sri Lankan Government, which last week said it would refuse to co-operate with a United Nations inquiry into alleged war crimes and continued human rights abuse.

A group of Labour and Tory MPs and their partners were due to fly out to Sri Lanka to meet senior Government ministers and officials, including President Mahinda Rajapasksa, who is accused of being responsible for war crimes.

However, the Labour members – Mrs Hodgson and Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn, who represents the Boldons – withdrew from the trip after an intervention by a senior Labour front-bencher, who said the visit would be too controversial in light of the UN inquiry. (Sunderland Echo)

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