This month the UN Human Rights Council will be discussing Sri Lanka, and will be voting on whether there should be an independent, international investigation into what happened on both sides during the war. The UK has co-tabled the resolution and we want the members of the UN Human Rights Council to support it. The vote will take place on 27 or 28 March.
British Ministers were able to see the situation in Sri Lanka for themselves when they visited last November for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka has enormous potential, and although it had made economic progress there are still big issues around freedom and human rights. For Sri Lanka to build a prosperous and inclusive future we believe these issues need to be addressed. There also needs to be a credible, transparent and independent investigation into violations of international law by both sides during the war. The Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka needed to start a domestic process to investigate what happened by March 2014, but they have not done so and so the UK is using its seat on the UN Human Rights Council to call for an international investigation.
On 3 March, at the UN Human Rights Council, FCO Minister Mr Hugo Swire said the UK would be calling for an international investigation following the UN High Commissioner’s February report which said that the Government of Sri Lanka has ‘failed to ensure independent and credible investigations into past violations of international humanitarian and human rights law’ on both sides during the civil war.
Hugo Swire will answer your questions on Sri Lanka live via Twitter on Monday 24 March from 1000 to 1045 (GMT). You can submit a question using the hashtag #askFCO and you can follow the Minister on Twitter @HugoSwire.