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Britain reiterates call for progress by end of the year

The House of Lords on Wednesday, saw Britain reaffirm its commitment for a thorough investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka, as Lords debated the holding of the 2013 CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

During question time Lord Kennedy of Southwark submitted a question to the House and said the British Government should state "it would be wrong for Sri Lanka to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013".

Lord Wallace of Saltaire responded,

“We, together with other Commonwealth members, urge Sri Lanka, as host, to demonstrate its commitment to upholding the Commonwealth values of human rights, good governance and the rule of law.

A key part of that will be to address long-standing issues about accountability and reconciliation after the recent conflict.

We have made that clear, and we expect to see progress by the end of the year.”

Read the Hansard transcripts here.

Stating that he was aware of the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s pledge of boycotting the CHOGM if no progress was seen, Lord Wallace went on to say,

“We are all aware that some atrocities were committed on both sides during the conflict in Sri Lanka, and it would be extremely good to have an independent investigation of them.

The Sri Lankan Government have set up their own investigation into this-I forget its full name-although there are some doubts about how independent it is.

We continue to press for a thorough and independent investigation.”

Watch the debate on the BBC here.

See our earlier feature: 'British MPs turn up the heat on Sri Lanka' (Sep 2011)

Also see our earlier post: 'UK Conservatives support accountability in Sri Lanka' (Oct 2011)

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