The British opposition party's shadow foreign office minister, Kerry McCarthy, urged Sri Lanka’s new government to cooperate with the Untied Nations inquiry into mass atrocities and urged the UK “to do everything it can to support the UN investigation.”
Condemning the previous regime's treatment of ethnic communities on the island she said, "minority groups were repressed, freedom of expression denied, torture and enforced disappearances common amongst the Tamil community, and human rights defenders threatened."
See full statement below:
Time for Change in Sri Lanka?
The outcome of the presidential election in Sri Lanka could not have been predicted when President Rajapaksa, in power for the past decade, confidently announced the snap poll late last year. But the result now offers Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Sirisena a chance to recommit to building peace and stability, and to demonstrate to Sri Lankans and the watching world that he can move Sri Lanka forward.
While there have been worrying reports of violence, fraud and intimidation during the election campaign itself - which must be investigated - 2015 seems to have been a marked improvement on previous elections. The outgoing President’s promise of a smooth and peaceful transition of power is welcome and it is to be hoped that the election could place Sri Lanka firmly on a trajectory towards peace and democracy.
Since the devastating civil war ended in 2009, Sri Lankans have been waiting for truth and justice. President Rajapaksa categorically failed to deliver this and evaded attempts by the international community to aid peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. His regime was characterised by increasing authoritarianism, a disregard for the rule of law and for judicial independence; minority groups were repressed, freedom of expression denied, torture and enforced disappearances common amongst the Tamil community, and human rights defenders threatened.