Economic sanctions on Sri Lanka not in UK’s interest: envoy

Apr 25, 2014 (LBO) – Economic sanctions on Sri Lanka are not in the interests of his country, and movers of a UN resolution are expecting progress which would make such questions redundant, UK’s envoy to Colombo said. “Sanctions are not currently an issue,” High Commissioner (ambassador) John Rankin told an LBR-LBO CEO forum on meeting the challenges of a resolution on Sri Lanka by UN’s Human Rights Council.

“First, because the Human Rights Council does not have the power or mandate to impose sanctions. And to the best of my knowledge no government to date has proposed economic sanctions on Sri Lanka.

UK is one of the key sponsors of the resolution, which calls for improvements in human rights, as well as an external probe into alleged war crimes.

“Nor would sanctions necessarily be in the interests of a country like the UK. Policy is not uni-dimensional towards Sri Lanka. UN rights issues and Human Rights Resolutions are not the sole purpose of our policy.”

High Commissioner John Rankin said Sri Lanka and Britain had a strong and investments relationship with the island.

“We are one of your top five investors,” he said. “We are your second largest trading partner in the world after India.