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'We continue to underline the importance of accountability, justice and reconciliation' in Sri Lanka says UK minister

UK Minister said that the British government continues "to underline the importance of accountability, justice and reconciliation in its engagement with the government of Sri Lanka."

FCO Minister of State Nigel Adams answered a written question posed by Jim Shannon, Shadow DUP Spokesperson for Human Rights.

When asked "what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure accountability for victims of (a) war crimes and (b) crimes against humanity (i) in Sri Lanka and (ii) overseas," the Minister responded:

The British government regularly engages with international partners on the importance of truth, accountability and justice for all victims of the civil war in Sri Lanka. At the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the UK works closely with the Core Group on Sri Lanka, and made clear our continued support for justice for victims of conflict in a joint statement delivered at the UNHRC in February. While in Geneva in February, Minister of State for South Asia Lord Ahmad of Wimbledonn met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to underline this message, and the Foreign Secretary raised the importance of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka during a call with Foreign Minister Gunawardena in May.

The British High Commission in Colombo also regularly engages with international partners on this important issue. The UK has long supported Sri Lanka's accountability commitments made to the UNHRC through resolutions 30/1, 34/1 and 40/1 as the best way to establish truth regarding alleged crimes committed by all sides during the Sri Lankan civil war, as well as to achieve accountability and reconciliation. We continue to underline the importance of accountability, justice and reconciliation in our engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka. 

Supporting international criminal justice continues to be a fundamental element of the UK's foreign policy. The UK is one of the foremost contributors to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other international tribunals, which can play a key role in deterring future acts, supporting victims, and helping to establish accountability around the globe. The UK has provided both practical and financial support to the ICC, contributing £10.2 million, and working with the Court on sentence enforcement. The UK has also been at the forefront of international efforts to gather and analyse evidence of atrocities in conflict affected areas such as Myanmar, Syria and Iraq. 

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