British envoy says spotlight is on Sri Lanka after CHOGM

Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Britain says the spotlight will be on Sri Lanka for it to uphold the Commonwealth values after it takes over the Chairmanship during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next month. The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin, speaking to foreign correspondents based in Colombo, said that Britain has no intention of causing embarrassment to Sri Lanka. He said that while Britain welcomes the progress made in Sri Lanka following the war they also want to see further concrete progress in line with the LLRC report recommendations. The British High Commissioner said that several other countries had in the past echoed concerns on human rights issues in Sri Lanka. He said that Britain will use the summit to raise its concerns independently and hope others will share those views. “At CHOGM we hope there will be a substantive discussion on Commonwealth values. Secondly, our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will raise those issues during the bilateral meetings they have here in Sri Lanka,” he said. The High Commissioner said that Britain has been consistently calling on the Government to carry out investigations into human rights violations and abuses of international humanitarian law during the war. “Our understanding is that some investigations have been carried out through Army processes and the Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances has been established.  At the end of the day we will wait to see what concrete results those processes deliver and we want concrete results from them,” he said. He noted that the UK is a strong supporter of the Commonwealth and at the same time is also a “friend” of Sri Lanka because of its historic ties but is an honest friend. (Colombo Gazette)