Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

UK MP raises question on Major Silva's immunity

Addressing the UK House of Commons last week, the Labour MP for Mitcham and Mordem, Siobhain McDonagh, questioned the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’ decision not to declare Major General Prasanna Silva persona non grata.

McDonagh said,

"Three months ago a dossier about war crimes committed by the defence attaché at Sri Lanka’s high commission in London, Major General Prasanna De Silva, was sent to the Foreign Office. However, the Foreign Secretary has reportedly refused to strip him of diplomatic immunity so that he can be questioned about these terrible accusations."

"I hope we can have a debate about the case and about the abuse of diplomatic immunity, because if the attaché is allowed to leave without being questioned, that will undermine Britain’s proud reputation for not tolerating war criminals."

"If we are soft on Sri Lanka, other shady regimes will surely also begin to regard us as a refuge for people who commit atrocities."

The Leader of the House Sir George Young replied,

"I understand the hon. Lady’s concern. It is important that diplomatic immunity is not abused. There was an opportunity on Tuesday to raise this with the Foreign Secretary. I am not sure that it will be possible to raise it again before Prorogation, but I will ask the Foreign Secretary to drop her a line explaining what action he is taking in response to her concern about the continuing diplomatic immunity of the individual to whom she referred."

Prasana Silva, the Defence Attaché at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London, has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Related articles:

GTF takes action against British Foreign Secretary over SL diplomat (31 Mar 2012)