By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London
The British government wants Sri Lanka to fully implement UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/1, according Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister, Mark Field.
Answering three written questions submitted by Wes Streeting MP (Labour, Ilford North – member of the All Party Parliament Group for Tamils), he says that he stressed to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Tilak Marapana, the importance of implementing the Resolution.
“The UK is committed to the full implementation of Resolution 34/1 and will continue to support the government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to promote reconciliation and human rights”, he noted.
Minisrter Field recalled that during his visit in early October 2017 to Colombo and Jaffna, he raised with Foreign Minister Marapana the importance of the Sri Lankan government implementing in full its commitments under UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/1, which rolled over the commitments made under 30/1.
Resolution 30/1 recognised the importance of a credible accountability process for those most responsible for violations and abuses. It also called for the participation in Sri Lanka’s judicial accountability process of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorised prosecutors and investigators.
“The commitments include the return of all military-held private land, the operationalisation of the Office of Missing Persons and the development of new counter-terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards”, he said.
Sri Lanka has neither signed nor acceded to the Rome Statute, and has not indicated plans to do so in the near future. The UK coordinates with other EU Member States to promote the universality of the Rome Statute, he said.
“We encourage non-state parties to accede to the Rome Statute and will offer support to the process of ratifying and implementing the Statute”, he added.
Responding to a query by Conservative MP for North East Hampshire, Ranil Jayawardane, the Chair of the All Party Parliament Group for Sri Lanka, on trade and investment relationship between Britain and Sri Lanka, Department for International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier said that British companies have already secured multi-million pound projects in Sri Lanka.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has a team in Sri Lanka, which focuses on significant opportunities. DIT works with Sri Lankan counterparts and the wider business community to identify emerging opportunities that will continue to increase bilateral trade and investment between the UK and Sri Lanka, the Minister stressed.
This financial year, DIT has already supported British companies in securing multi-million pound projects in the advanced engineering and financial and professional services sectors, he said.
UK Export Finance, the Britain’s export credit agency, has capacity to support UK trade with Sri Lanka and welcomes new applications for support, Garnier added.