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UK MP to confront Mahinda

2013 Jul 23

British Parliamentarian Simon Danczuk says he will confront President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the investigations into the death of Khuram Shaikh, the British national killed in Tangalle in 2011.

Danczuk is due in Sri Lanka later this week as part of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation visiting Colombo.

Danczuk told The Daily Telegraph he will raise concerns of a cover-up in the investigations when he meets the President.

“I’m going to confront the president of Sri Lanka on whether he thinks this behaviour is becoming of a Commonwealth nation. The perception is that they’re trying to cover it up. My guess is that [it's because] the alleged murderer is a local politician who delivers for the ruling party, which delivers for the president and helps them remain elected,” Danczuk told the British newspaper.

He believed threats against at least two witnesses had been a key factor in delaying progress in the inquiry. The eight suspects were released after ten months in custody because of the delays.

The Foreign Office is watching the investigation closely amid growing concerns about human rights abuses in the country in the run up to this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo later this year. Britain will be represented by Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles, but Danczuk said the government should downgrade its representation if the criminal investigation into Mr Shaikh’s murder is further delayed.

“The British government should think twice about who we send to CHOGM if justice is not done before then, and whether it should include the Prime Minister,” he said.

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