Calls for accountability on sexual violence

british-foreign-and-commonwealth-officeThe British Government noted the need for Sri Lanka to ensure accountability for allegations of sexual violence.

British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Baroness Joyce Anelay, speaking at the British High Commission in Colombo at the conclusion of her visit to Sri Lanka, said that there is much more to be done, both to end sexual violence and to secure long term peace and stability.

Baroness Anelay also said that a key part of UK’s relationship with Sri Lanka is the support for long term peace and reconciliation.

“Coming to terms with the past and guaranteeing people’s rights for the future are central to achieving this goal,” she said.

Baroness Anelay had talks with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today.

During the talks with Foreign Minister Samaraweera, he briefed Baroness Analey on the initiatives taken by the unity Government to strengthen democracy, human rights and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Minister Samaraweera and Baroness Analey also discussed the future direction of the Commonwealth.

During talks held with Baroness Anelay on 8 November the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran said that the international community has to intervene to sort out issues that arise in the Northern Province from time to time, as the government has no control over them.

The NPC Chief Minister told the minister that the people in the North have been seeking an international probe into alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the war as a majority of the people in the province has no confidence in such an inquiry being led by a domestic mechanism. He had told the Baroness that such a probe should be conducted with the participation of international Judges.

Baroness Analey stated that she was pleased to see the improvements made with regard to reconciliation in Sri Lanka and hoped that provisions will be set up in the new Constitution to further strengthen the Government’s reconciliation efforts.

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