“We are all waiting for the progress report of the high commissioner for human rights which is due out in June. We do want to see how they are progressing in many of the things they have agreed to do with the international community. I believe they are moving in the right direction and if they are not we will be very quick to point out where they are falling short with what the international community expects,” Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the United Kingdom Mr. Hugo Swire has said while commenting on the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
The British Foreign Secretary has made the comment during a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils on 23rd March 2016, reports Tamil Guardian.
He has emphasised that the situation in the country has improved and claims of ongoing torture needs to be looked in to before accepting them.
“The best hope for Sri Lanka in many years is under the present government. I don’t believe things are perfect, but I do believe that the human rights situation has improved. I see here various statements that the white van cases still continues. I’m not sure I quite agree with that. I think the evidence of torture we need to look at every closely. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist but I think we need to look at it very closely. When you go to Sri Lanka I believe you can smell the difference. I feel that there is an absence of fear, some people say that is not true in the north. But I believe that is true. People are going about their business largely free of intimidation. Not everything will be perfect overnight, but I think there is a palpable difference in Sri Lanka compared to when I went there 2,3 years ago.”
Expressing concern at Sri Lanka’s economic statement he has said that “the economy generally in Sri Lanka does worry me. They are generally short of money. They are desperate for trade, desperate for business. That’s something the UK could do more and get our businesses out to Sri Lanka.