Groundviews, 11 Feb, 2013 - The BBC’s Charles Haviland interviewed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Minister Alistair Burt on 1st February 2013, during an official visit to Sri Lanka which saw the Minister meet with a range of stakeholders including the government, TNA and civil society as well as travel to the North of the country.
GOV.UK, 01 February 2013 - There will be considerable international interest in Sri Lanka in 2013. In March, there will be a significant report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The spotlight will also be on Sri Lanka later in the year as hosts of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November. The UK Parliament continues to follow events in Sri Lanka closely, with debates in Westminster Hall and the House of Lords having already taken place this year. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt will answer your questions on the UK’s policy towards Sri Lanka live via Twitter on Tuesday 5th February from 11.15am-12.00pm GMT. Questions can be submitted using the hashtag #askFCO.
TamilNet, Friday, 01 February 2013 - People of Vanni closed themselves inside their huts and refused to come out when the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt MP, accompanied by the occupying Sinhala military, wanted to ‘speak’ to the uprooted Eezham Tamils at Keappa-pulavu on Thursday. The reason was two-fold: loss of faith in the modus operandi of foreign dignitaries visiting them with the occupying military and then coming out with statements not recognizing the on-going genocide but buttressing the genocidal State; and the other reason was suffocating intimidation by the occupying Sinhala military that no one should tell anything controversial to visiting foreigners. The same military officials bringing visitors to them in the daytime would turn into torture-interrogators in the night time, Eezham Tamils of Vanni commented.
1 February 2013 - FCO Minister for South Asia, Alistair Burt, arrived Sri Lanka on January 31 for an two-day official visit. During his visit to Mullaitivu, North of Sri Lanka, Minister Burt responded to questions from public. The video was recorded at the Mullaitivu coast near the wreckage of Jordanian vessel Farah III.
British High Commisssion, Colombo, 01 February 2013 - Visiting UK Minister Alistair Burt delivered a guest lecture today on “Sri Lanka: 2013 and beyond” at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies - "It is the responsibility of states to protect the rights and freedoms of every citizen, and it is the responsibility of Commonwealth members to remind each other of our declared Commonwealth values. So the Meeting will also be an opportunity for the Commonwealth and the wider world to see the situation for ourselves, and indeed, the Prime Minister made very clear it is the best way to understand any situation in any country. Four years after the war, Sri Lanka has an opportunity to demonstrate that it is doing everything possible to make peace here sustainable, and that it is upholding the rights of all its citizens. This is the time for Sri Lanka to create a peaceful, free, democratic and prosperous future. We will do all we can to help you achieve these goals. But ultimately it is, of course, up to the Sri Lankan government and people to shape the country’s future. It is a future that can and should be bright, for 2013 and beyond."
British High Commission, Colombo, 01 February 2013 - British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, H E John Rankin, hosted a Burns’ Night reception at his residence on Thursday, 31 January, 2013, to welcome visiting Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt and mark the birthday of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns (a day celebrated annually in January all over Scotland). Many members of the local business community attended the gathering, which was also an opportunity to celebrate Scottish whisky.
British High Commission - Colombo, 31 January 2013 - Visiting UK Minister Alistair Burt went to the North of the country on the first day of his visit to Sri Lanka, holding a range of meetings and opening a youth project designed to facilitate country-wide reconciliation.
UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 15 March 2012 - Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt spoke after the transmission of Channel 4's documentary 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, War Crimes Unpunished': “I continue to believe that Sri Lanka, in accordance with its Government’s public statements, can achieve lasting peace and reconciliation. But this requires a full and honest acknowledgement of the past and it requires processes, in which all parties take part, to ensure justice, reconciliation and political progress. That is why the UK will urge the UN Human Rights Council to pass a resolution next week which calls on Sri Lanka to take these steps and implement the recommendations of their own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.”
22 February 2012 - "We are aware that the US is preparing a draft resolution for the Human Rights Council, and we are likely to support it", UK Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr. Alistair Burt told parliament today in his reply to the Westminster Hall debate on Human Rights in Sri Lanka. "We will work with the Sri Lankan Government on the implementation of LLRC and other human rights recommendations to deliver what they have declared they will deliver. We will work with international partners—Commonwealth and others—to urge action in areas where adherence to Commonwealth or human rights values is still lacking. We are conscious of the power of international bodies, such as the Human Rights Council and CHOGM, to apply pressure and to encourage the raising of standards. We are also conscious of time scales. Our activity will be both public and private, and I will regularly update colleagues. No one should doubt that there is still much to do in Sri Lanka, and no one should doubt that the UK Government recognise that", he said.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 21 November 2011 - Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt today called on the Government of Sri Lanka to release publicly the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee's report on post conflict issues in Sri Lanka.