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Sri Lanka – human rights – asylum

Sri Lanka – human rights – asylum


Sri Lanka – human rights – asylum

15 January 2018

A rather dodgy story appeared in The Times newspaper recently. Ms Tulip Siddiq is Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn and she also sits on the Women and Equalities Committee, which is a parliamentary select committee. Her prominent connections do not end there: her aunt, Sheikh Hasina, is Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Apparently Ms Siddiq posted a family photo on Facebook including herself, her young daughter and Ms Hasina, with the message “Very proud that my daughter is surrounded by such strong female role models”.

Well, it sounds OK we suppose, but some people have raised an issue that put the post in a rather awkward light: Sri Lanka’s poor human rights record. Ms Hasina’s government stands accused of widespread human rights violations.

Certainly, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in its current “Human Rights & Democracy” report includes Sri Lanka in its list of “human rights priority countries” ie countries about which it has human rights concerns

And the Home Office has on its website Country Reports about Sri Lanka – an indication that the Home Office believes that all is not well there regarding human rights – which also make interesting reading.

Indeed, over the last few years a number of Sri Lankans have sought political asylum in the UK.

A person from Sri Lanka (or anywhere else, for that matter) who is in the UK and who has a “well-founded fear” that if they return home they will be unjustly persecuted may be in a position to claim asylum or humanitarian protection here.