Regarding The Telegraph interview on tourist’s 2011 death in Tangalle:A BRITISH MP’S AUDACITY
Posted on July 23rd, 2013

Chaminda Perera-Courtesy The Daily News

* Tourist was killed in a New Year’s eve brawl
* Low-level MP abuses privilege

The External Affairs Ministry yesterday lashed out at British Labour Party MP Simon Danzuk who is quoted in The Telegraph of July 21st as having said that he will “raise concerns of cover up” with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with regard to the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh in the 2011 New Year’s eve tragedy in Tangalle, when he meets the President this week.

Simon Danzuk who is currently in Sri Lanka as a part of UK branch of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation is from Rochdale, the home town of Khuram Shaikh who was allegedly assaulted and killed in a brawl during a party at a tourist hotel in Rekawa, Tangalle in 2011.

According to External Affairs Ministry Secretary Dr. Karunathilake Amunugama, a meeting with the President would be a privilege for any visiting delegate below the level of Head of Government or State as it would not be in keeping with the accepted diplomatic protocol.

“The External Affairs Ministry Secretary said that such gestures are unthinkable in Western countries.

Talking to the media about the issues that will be raised with the Head of State even before such a meeting is scheduled is totally inappropriate”, he said. “For any visiting delegate below the level of a Head of State/Government, a meeting with the President would be a privilege, as it would not be in keeping with accepted diplomatic protocol and is unthinkable in western countries”, Amunugama added.

He said the External Affairs Ministry has been facilitating many visits of foreign dignitaries and officials to Sri Lanka as they can witness first hand, the developments in the country, specially the North and East in the aftermath of the 30 year conflict.

He said the Ministry is working with the respective diplomatic missions in drawing up a suitable programme including the appointments with Government ministers and officials depending on their availability.

Dr. Amunugama added that the Sri Lankan government condemned the murder of Khuram Shaikh and expressed its commitment to bring the perpetrators to book irrespective of their status.

The British MP met officials of the Criminal Investigation Department and the Minister of Justice during his recent visit to the country with the brother of the victim.

According to External Affairs Ministry Secretary Amunugama,the British Parliamentarian’s statement with regard to the murder is a pre-judgement of a case still pending in Court. Amunugama stressed that the case which is pending was recently transferred from the Tangalle Magistrate’s Court to the Colombo Magistrate’s Court.

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