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UK concerned over Sri Lanka and looking at 'human rights violations very seriously'

UK Minister of State for Asia Amanda Milling expressed the UK’s concern over worsening human rights violations in Sri Lanka last week. 

Her response was to the written question posed by Conservative MP Matthew Offord, who asked what assessment her department had made for the implications of her policies of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on Sri Lanka's "alarming path towards recurrence of grave human rights violations", published earlier this year.

"The UK takes allegations of human rights violations very seriously, and we continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to improve human rights and deliver justice and accountability for violations committed during and after the conflict," said the minister. 

Milling highlighted that the UK had led the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 46/1 which maintained the need for accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. The resolution mandated the collection of evidence of war crimes that may be used in a future war crimes tribunal. The resolution also expresses concern at alleged torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

Milling also noted that Minister for South Asia, Tariq Ahmad, has raised his human rights concerns with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris in calls on 10 May and 24 September respectively. She added that the UK Foreign Secretary had raised the importance of upholding human rights when she met with Peiris on 26 October 2021. 

Earlier this month, Milling criticised the continued reports of torture and sexual violence by Sri Lanka's security forces in UK Parliament, following findings from the International Truth and Justice report which detailed the abduction and torture of 15 Tamils by the security forces since 2019. 

See her full answer here.

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