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UK has accepted Lanka is safe - Minister Abeywardena

The United Kingdom has accepted that Sri Lanka is a safe country. It has said there is no sexual abuse, harassment and torture in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is impossible for the UK to have two totally different standpoints on Sri Lanka at one time, acting Media Minister and Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday, Abeywardena said that this was proved when a British court rejected a case filed by the Human Rights Watch and some NGOs asking not to deport some Sri Lankan Tamils living in the UK to Sri Lanka.

“Since the war and terrorism in Sri Lanka has been solved and very safe to live, the UK decided to deport 100 Sri Lankan Tamils living in the UK. Out of 100, a batch 52 deportees arrived in Sri Lanka with British officials on February 29. British officials handed them over to Sri Lankan officials,” he said.

The deputy minister said the British court rejected facts presented by the Human Rights Watch and some NGOs.

“They tried to prove that Sri Lanka was not safe for Tamils to live because of sexual abuse, harassment and torture. According to British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt this is not true. The same was assured by the report of the British High Commissioner. The British court judgment proved that the facts presented by the Human Rights Watch and NGOs on Sri Lanka are inaccurate not true. Some asylum seekers from Sri Lanka tell lies to stay back,” he said.

Abeywardena said the Vice Chair of the Australia – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group had stated during visits to Sri Lanka over the years, most recently in 2011, that Tamil citizens of the North he met, were keen to move forward with their lives in an atmosphere in which they could further their own culture and follow their religious beliefs freely.

“He had also stated that they wanted their children to get back to studies and get on with their day to day life. A lot of foreign newspapers including Gulf Today extend their support to Sri Lanka in connection with the Geneva issue.

“The Australia - Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group which arrived in Sri Lanka three weeks ago, visited the North and East, saw the rapid progress in re-settling and stated that Sri Lanka should be given more time,” the acting minister said.

Abeywardena said the Thai Foreign Minister had stated that the UN Human Rights Commission should not victimize countries and instead, it should help them.

“The world will not believe Channel 4 because their credibility has been destroyed by themselves by creating fabricated videos without names and designations of persons, places and exact times. The Sri Lankan government has replied to this by releasing the true facts through a video.

The US ambassador cannot say that the Sri Lankan government brought people to protests because it should be told by Sri Lankans and not by her,” the deputy minister said.

“The Sri Lankan delegation in Geneva has educated all countries on all unclear issues. They will continue to raise awareness among the countries till March 23. Similarly, all anti- Sri Lankan elements will do the same. The team took part in a one day workshop before their departure and they were educated by the government and the Defence Ministry,” the acting minister said.

 

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