Sept 03, London: British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague today confirmed that he and the British Prime Minister David Cameron will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November although the UK government is very concerned about human rights in Sri Lanka including media freedom.
Hague said they have decided to attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka considering the Commonwealth and its future.
"The Prime Minister and I have decided to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka. We think that the Commonwealth and its future matter so much that we must do that, no matter what the location," he told the House of Commons of the British parliament today.
Answering oral questions raised at the House of Commons on Sri Lanka's human rights violations, the Secretary of State said the UK government raises those issues regularly with the Sri Lankan Government.
He said the UK hopes to draw attention to the issues by attending the summit.
"We and other countries will continue to press Sri Lanka on those issues over the coming weeks," Hague told the House.
When asked about what progress is UK government seeking on Sri Lanka's right issues ahead of the meeting in November, the Foreign Secretary said all parties in the House seek progress in Sri Lanka on a wide range of issues.
These include, implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission; ensuring that there is media freedom and the operation of non-governmental organizations; and ensuring that not only is there reconstruction after the conflict, but that all political persuasions have a genuine ability to participate in democracy.
"We are looking for continued improvements in Sri Lanka across quite a broad front and we will be able to make those points at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November," Hague told the House of Commons.