Basil apologises to British MP delegation for Khuram Shaikh’s murder

Saturday, 27 July 2013 00:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • DNA test results with AG, Hakeem tells  delegation
  • Victim’s constituent MP finally pleased with progress on investigation
A British Parliamentary Delegation concluded its visit to the country on a buoyant note, saying Sri Lanka was making steady progress in its post-conflict after officials here vowed to bring killers of murdered UK citizen Khuram Shaikh to justice. The All-Party delegation was led by British Member of Parliament, Eleanor Laing who noted that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka while important could not be compared with other countries. “This is a country coming out of war. Constantly raking up the past could hamper progress in terms of post-war healing,” Laing said at the conclusion of their visit despite repeated calls by the UK for further progress by the Government of Sri Lanka on accountability and reconciliation. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had apologised for Shaikh’s murder and promised to prosecute his killers, Simon Danczuk, MP for the victim’s constituency who also travelled as part of the visiting delegation told media personnel at an informal briefing yesterday. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem had also assured progress on the investigation, Danczuk added. “The Minister said the DNA tests were now with the Attorney General’s Department,” he explained. The fiery British MP who has travelled to Sri Lanka previously to intercede on behalf of his murdered constituent, said that he genuinely felt at the end of his visit that progress was being made.  He told reporters that while there was no timeframe in mind, the Government had assured progress on the investigation by November during their visit.  Danczuk said he did not want to come to Sri Lanka constantly and be seen as someone who rakes up negativity. Prior to his arrival, Danczuk had vowed to confront President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the lack of progress in Shaikh’s murder investigation, but officials said a meeting with the President had never been on the cards. Colombo has repeatedly blamed the delay in prosecution on time consuming DNA testing. During their visit the delegation visited several UK funded projects in the north and south of the island and met with political parties including the TNA and Government and Parliamentary officials. (DB)