Gareth Thomas, member of Parliament for Harrow West asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Sri Lankan counterpart on the treatment of Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka since the election of President Maithripala Sirisena; and if he will make a statement.
Replying to Gareth Thomas the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hugo Swire said, we frequently engage with the government of Sri Lanka on human rights issues including on the treatment of detainees.
We have raised human rights issues at all levels, as the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), did when he met President Sirisena in March. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), did likewise with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister on 2 June. I have also raised the issue with the government on a number of occasions, including during my visit to Sri Lanka in January.
The UK has actively supported the improvement of human rights, accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka through multilateral organisations such as the UN, the Commonwealth and the EU as well as through bilateral funding of targeted programmes.