Shadow Foreign Secretary: Sri Lanka is ‘heading in the wrong direction’ on LGBT rights
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has criticised Sri Lanka’s record on LGBT rights ahead of a Commonwealth summit.
Commenting on a report by the Kaleidoscope Trust, the senior Labour MP told the Press Association that the country is “heading in the wrong direction”.
“Today’s report from the Kaleidoscope Trust highlights the ongoing concern about human rights – and in particular the rights of the LGBT community – within Sri Lanka,” he said.
“New allegations in this report of abuses and intimidation of LGBT citizens are a further warning that President Rajapaksa’s government has not made the progress ahead of this Commonwealth summit that we all wanted to see.
“As David Cameron departs for this week’s Commonwealth summit, the evidence that Sri Lanka is heading in the wrong direction is mounting, which is why Labour has called on the Prime Minister to use what leverage he has in the run up to the summit to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to change their approach on human rights.”
Downing Street said David Cameron and William Hague will be raising the issue with their Sri Lankan counterparts.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will make clear their concerns about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka when they visit Colombo this week.
“The Commonwealth Charter, agreed by all Commonwealth members, explicitly states that we are opposed to all forms of discrimination and it is important that all members live up these values. That is the message that we will be taking to the summit.”