UK MP meets Deputy Speaker

British Member of Parliament Simon Danczuk met Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody today and raised concerns over the failure by the government to put to trial the suspects in the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh.

The British Labour MP, who is on a two day visit to Sri Lanka, also met MP Thilanga Sumathipala as well as members of the opposition including UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera.

Simon Danczuk told the Colombo Gazette that during his meetings today he had pushed for justice over the Tangalle murder of the British national in 2011.

The British MP said he will brief British officials on his return to London regarding the outcome of his visit to Sri Lanka.

He was accompanied by Khuram’s brother, Nasir Shaikh, who has been campaigning for Khuram’s killers to be brought to justice.

Khuram, who had just spent months fitting prosthetic limbs in Gaza, was spending Christmas and the new year in Sri Lanka when, early on Christmas morning in 2011, when he became involved in an altercation at his hotel in Tangalle.

Eight men, who are said to have been armed and drunk – and to include a prominent local politician with ties to the government – are accused of attacking him. Stabbed and shot, Khuram died while a female colleague who was with him was assaulted and left badly injured.

Simon Danczuk said that despite assurances from the government that those responsible for Khuram’s murder would be severely dealt with, so far the suspects have not been charged in court.

The Foreign Office, which has been keeping the Shaikhs informed of developments on the island, is also urging action. It said in a statement last year that “The UK cannot interfere in Sri Lanka’s legal system, but we hope that a trial occurs without any undue delay to bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice.” (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Easwaran Rutnam