UK’s Lord Ahmad stresses on need for progress of human rights in Sri Lanka

UK Minister of State Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs (Central and South Asia, Commonwealth, UN, Human Rights) Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, during his three-day visit to Sri Lanka, met a series of officials, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to discuss key issues revolving around human rights.

He met President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (20). On his official Twitter account, Lord Ahmad stated that the purpose of the meeting was “to discuss global challenges including climate change and economic recovery from Covid-19”.

He further stated: “I emphasised the need for the GoSL (Government of Sri Lanka) to make progress on human rights, reconciliation, and justice and accountability, in line with the UN HRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) process and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).”

The President’s Media Division, in a media release, stated that Lord Ahmad had noted that Sri Lanka’s programme to empower human rights is making great strides. He had further stated that Sri Lanka will be able to resolve all issues pertaining to human rights by moving forward with a pragmatic approach to further strengthen it.

Further, Lord Ahmad toured the northern and eastern parts of the island on Wednesday (19).

During the visit, Lord Ahmad had held discussions with Northern Province Governor Jeevan Thiagarajah on the plans for the Northern Province, his priorities, and the need for justice and accountability, and had spoken to Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath about the Government’s priorities to address key concerns and livelihoods, access to justice, and integrated community relations in the Eastern Province.

Lord Ahmad also visited and paid respect to the ancient Hindu temple Thirukoneswaram while touring Trincomalee.