British High Commissioner John Rankin, speaking at the recently held Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association AGM, said:
“Despite challenging times for Western economies, I believe that the prospects for bilateral trade between the UK and Sri Lanka remain bright. In 2011, Sri Lankan exports to the UK totalled over US $ 1.2 billion and imports from the UK were worth some US $ 245 million. That made the UK Sri Lanka's second largest trading partner by volume.
“And there are over 100 companies in Sri Lanka with UK affiliations including major companies in the garment sourcing sector such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Triumph and Next."
Speaking at the CHOGM conference last October, British Premier David Cameron, said:
“We want to see Sri Lanka do more in terms of human rights ... It is very important that [international] pressure is applied.”
Meanwhile, outlining the UK's vision as the Council of Europe's new chair, the UK foreign minister, William Hague, said last November:
“Human rights, democracy and rule of law are central to the policy of the United Kingdom in every area of government.
“We are committed to working through the international system to strengthen the implementation of these principles. They underpin our collective security and prosperity."
“We will make the promotion and protection of human rights the overarching theme of our Chairmanship.”