UK warns Lanka of consequences

Britain today warned that there will be consequences if the Sri Lankan government continues to ignore their international commitments in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told the British parliament the Britain condemns alleged human rights abuses committed in Sri Lanka.

He said this in response to a question raised by British MP  Simon Hughes as to why the British Prime Minister is attending the summit in Sri Lanka despite concerns raised over human rights abuses.

“We are all aware that the decision that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary will attend the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka is controversial, especially in the light of the despicable human rights violations during the recent civil war. But I assure my right hon. Friend that the Government condemn those violations, the way in which political trials, regular assaults on legal professionals and suppression of press freedom continue, and the fact that too many recommendations of the lessons learnt and reconciliation commission have not been implemented. If such violations continue, and if the Sri Lankan Government continue to ignore their international commitments in the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, of course there will be consequences,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

He said that while all understand the controversy and unease about the matter, by attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka Britain will be using the opportunity to cast a spotlight on the unacceptable abuses in Sri Lanka.

“Of course there will be consequences if the conduct of the Sri Lankan authorities does not change. The Commonwealth matters to us all, and it is based on a number of values. Where I accept the hon. Lady’s implicit criticism is in relation to this point: all Commonwealth Governments should do more to not only talk about those values, but ensure that they are properly monitored and enforced,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)