31st March 2009
During Foreign Office Questions, Keith Simpson asks the Minister of State the reasons given by the Sri Lankan Government for refusing to deal with our Government's special envoy.
Mr. Speaker: I call Keith Vaz.
Mr. Keith Simpson (Mid-Norfolk) (Con): Mr. Speaker, I am sure the right hon. Gentleman's lawyers will be speaking to mine.
May I draw the Minister out a little further in his comments about the UK special envoy? Will he explain to the House what reasons the Sri Lankan Government have given our Government for refusing to accept the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Des Browne)? Does he see any way in which, in the near future, we will be able to resolve that impasse?
Bill Rammell: Dead ringer, I would say!
Let me be clear on the position of our special envoy. He remains our special envoy and we emphatically urge the Sri Lankan Government to recognise that. I do not know and do not understand why they will not work with our envoy. We are not in isolation. There are other envoys with whom the Sri Lankan Government are not co-operating. The message that we need to communicate emphatically at all levels is that there must be a political solution in Sri Lanka, not a military one."