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APPGT chair pledges to raise human rights concerns in Sri Lanka internationally

Human rights concerns remain in Sri Lanka said the newly elected as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, Paul Scully, who pledged to continue to raise the issue internationally.

In a statement released on Monday Mr Scully said he would “support the interests of the Tamil community here in the UK”.

“The United Nations Human Rights Council recognises that the process is slow and that concerns remain about human rights in Sri Lanka,” he added. “The APPG will continue to raise this in the UK Parliament, in Brussels and Geneva aiming to keep this in the mind of the government, the EU and the United Nations.”

Mr Scully has already rasied the issue in parliament, calling for a debate “on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka in the lead-up to the next session of the UNHRC”.

His request came after a critical report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism who said the Sri Lankan government has done “almost nothing” to hold human rights violators in the military to account and warned it was laying down conditions that may “reignite conflict”.

In response, the British government expressed “serious concerns” to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner last week and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) annual human rights report named Sri Lanka as one of 30 ‘Human Rights Priority Countries’ (HRPCs). Sri Lanka joins other states such as Syria, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Yemen.