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UK closely following developments in Sri Lanka – minister

The United Kingdom says it is following developments in Sri Lanka closely and is aware of the concern felt by many about the potential impact on human rights defenders.

“We have spoken to all parties about the need to protect and promote human rights, the rule of law and good governance,” UK’s Minister of State for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad said.

“We are in close touch with civil society representatives and international partners to ensure that we are ready to respond to a changing context, if necessary.”

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon stated this while giving an interim statement on the human rights situation in 2018 in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 30 human rights priority countries.

In July, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) published its annual Human Rights and Democracy Report.

The report focussed in particular on the 30 countries including Sri Lanka in which the UK government believes human rights issues are of greatest concern.

The Human Rights Minister’s interim statement had provided an update on some of most pressing human rights concerns in these countries in the first part of 2018.

Lord Ahmad’s statement also noted some positive developments on gender equality.

“In Sri Lanka the proportion of elected female officials has significantly increased. With a new 25 per cent quota in place for local elections in February, a total of 1,919 women were elected, compared with just 91 between 2008 and 2011.”

TELO Admin