Debates between Baroness D'Souza and Baroness Goldie during the 2017-2019 Parliament

Wed 24th Apr 2019

Hong Kong Protests

Debate between Baroness D'Souza and Baroness Goldie
Tuesday 2nd July 2019

(4 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D’Souza (CB)
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My Lords, will the Government press for an independent, judge-led inquiry into the events in Hong Kong since 12 June, rather than the police-led inquiry that is currently on offer from the Hong Kong legislature? Will that inquiry look into allegations of sexual violence against women perpetrated by the police, some of whom—the senior police—are British citizens?

Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie
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We have urged the Hong Kong Government to establish a robust, independent investigation into the violence during the protests of 12 June, and that is a matter that Hong Kong must properly pursue. The noble Baroness makes important observations, and I am sure that in any independent investigation there will be a wide remit as to the scope of what the investigators seek to ascertain.

Sri Lanka

Debate between Baroness D'Souza and Baroness Goldie
Wednesday 24th April 2019

(5 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie
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I thank my noble friend. He raises an important point: there is a significant Sri Lankan population within the United Kingdom and we of course want to reassure that community that we are with them. We want to support them and there are ways in which we can offer that support. It may be through the FCO and it may be through the Sri Lankan high commission in London, but he makes an important point.

Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D'Souza (CB)
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My Lords, there has been a degree of instability at the heart of Sri Lankan government since the events of last autumn, when the President tried to replace the democratically elected Prime Minister with another Prime Minister. At that time, it was the judiciary which upheld the constitution, resulting in the reversal of that unwise decision by the President of Sri Lanka. Can the Minister say what resources the UK Government are committing to upholding the institutions of democracy in Sri Lanka—in particular through the Commonwealth, for instance, and DfID—and ensuring that there is an adherence not only to the constitution at the heart of government but to the oversight of government, which has been largely lacking?

Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie
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The noble Baroness makes a very valuable point in relation to the Commonwealth, which as she is aware is a strong and coherent family of nations. When any one of these nations is affected like this, there is a sense of standing together and wanting to provide support. Specifically in relation to the United Kingdom, the UK has made a long-term commitment to improving human rights in Sri Lanka and is dedicated to supporting the rebuilding of the country after three decades of civil conflict. I referred in an earlier answer to the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. The UK is providing Sri Lanka with £8.3 million over three years, which commenced in 2016. That is specifically to include support for police reform and training, reconciliation and peacebuilding, and demining in the north of the country. But that is against the backdrop of wanting to protect human rights and support the emergence of the strong constitution to which I think the noble Baroness is referring.