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Sri Lankan government ‘will be judged on their actions’ says UK Minister

The British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland stated the Sri Lankan government will be “judged on their actions”, as she pledged support for the British Tamil community and called on Sri Lanka to co-operate with a UN investigation into the mass killings of Tamils.

“A huge tragedy unfolded in the closing days of the military conflict in Sri Lanka,” said Theresa Villiers. “A UN Report concluded that 70,000 civilians were killed in the final phase of the war and it has been estimated that nearly 150,000 still remain unaccounted for. The total loss of the life during the war will of course have been much greater.”

Calling on the Sri Lankan government to co-operate with the recently deferred UN investigation, Ms Villiers said,

“I welcome the undertakings the new President has given to lead a more democratic and accountable government, but his administration will be judged on their actions in delivering on these promises. We cannot yet tell whether this change of Government will lead to real and lasting change in Sri Lanka.”

“We want to see long-term peace for Sri Lanka. This needs an inclusive political settlement which delivers equality of treatment and gives Tamils an effective voice in Government,” added the Secretary of State.

Ms Villiers also paid tribute to the British Tamil community, saying,

“There is no doubt that the hard work and political activism of British Tamils has pushed issues regarding Sri Lanka up the political agenda. I warmly welcome the active engagement of Tamils in the UK democratic process. British Tamil voters could determine the outcome in many constituencies."

“I believe they will have a significant impact on who wins the election,” concluded Ms Villiers.