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British MPs urge 'robust international response' to Sri Lanka's political turmoil

British MPs have urged the UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt to push for a "robust international response" to the unfolding political turmoil in Sri Lanka following the sacking of the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe last week and appointment of the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

"The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to promote justice and accountability at the UN Human Rights Council. The governments of Gordon Brown and David Cameron kept human rights in Sri Lanka high on the agenda of the international community, but we are increasingly concerned that this focus has waned under Theresa May's ministry," Labour Party MPs, Wes Streeting, Mike Gapes, Siobhain McDonagh and Joan Ryan wrote. 

"We urge you to use your good offices to ensure a robust international response to developing events in Sri Lanka and to ensure that human rights in Sri Lanka at the top of the agenda at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva."

The UK government has expressed concern about Sri Lanka’s unfolding political crisis.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Minister for Asia, Mark Field, said in a statement:

“I am concerned by ongoing political developments in Sri Lanka and am following this fast-moving situation closely. Once again, I call upon all parties to uphold the constitution and due political and legal process."

“I urge President Sirisena, in consultation with the Speaker, to reconvene the parliament immediately in order to give the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people their voice at this time."