Sri Lanka CHOGM

Here is my exchange with Prime Minister David Cameron today after his statement about his visit to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka.

Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op):

The Prime Minister says that the Government will press the issue in March next year at the United Nations Human Rights Council. In the light of that council’s woeful record—at one point, it actually praised the Government of Sri Lanka for their internal policies—how confident can he be, given the authoritarian states and friends of Rajapaksa who are on the council, that we will get anywhere on this in the UN?

The Prime Minister:

I think this is going to be very hard pounding for a very long period of time, but what the Sri Lankan Government need to understand, and I think understand more today than perhaps they did a week ago, is that the issue is not going to go away, and if they do not hold an independent inquiry, the pressure for an international inquiry will grow and grow. Using the UN human rights machinery is the right way to do that.

 

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