UK concerned about the current political situation in Sri Lanka

UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mark Field told the UK Parliament that it is vital that all sides refrain from violence and make efforts to resolve the situation peacefully and as soon as possible. He said that he met with the APPG for Tamil’s including some representatives from the Tamil community on 3 December to discuss the current political situation and plan to visit Sri Lanka in 2019 in reply to questions raised by parliamentarians on Sri Lanka.

Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) (LD)

Mr Rajapaksa playing any role in the Sri Lankan Government will terrify many communities in Sri Lanka, particularly the Tamil community. Will the Minister set out the UK Government’s position on Mr Rajapaksa’s re-emergence into Sri Lankan politics? [908018]

Mark Field

We are very concerned about the current chaotic political situation in Sri Lanka to which the right hon. Gentleman refers. It is causing great damage to that country both politically and economically. I made statements on 26 October, 29 October, 9 November and, as he knows, earlier this week at the meeting of the all-party group for Tamils. We will continue actively to co-ordinate our response with the international community in Colombo and in the UN.

Sir Hugo Swire (East Devon) (Con)

Further to that question, my right hon. Friend is aware that all parties are in court today again in Colombo. What conversations has he had with fellow Commonwealth Ministers? As chair of the Commonwealth, what conversations have we had with the secretary-general of the Commonwealth? What message can he give to the judges in Colombo to ensure that they uphold the constitution of Sri Lanka? 

Mark Field

First and foremost, we want this to be resolved by Sri Lanka in line with its own constitution and laws. We welcome the statement made on 5 November by the Commonwealth secretary-general, who I understand will be meeting the Foreign Secretary to discuss a range of matters. Obviously, Sri Lanka will very much be at the forefront of that conversation. We want to encourage ongoing dialogue and to offer the support of the Commonwealth, if required, to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka. We are in an ongoing dialogue with the Commonwealth and other partners to ensure a co-ordinated international response. (House of Commons)

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