David Cameron asked to justify arms exports to `human-right violator` Sri Lanka
London – UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been asked to justify allowing export of machine guns and assault rifles to Sri Lanka, despite his recent criticism of the country’s human rights abuses.
Chairman of the arms export control committee Sir John Stanley said that the UK government has a “questionable” approach on arms exports to Sri Lanka, the Guardian reports.
The head of the Commons weapons watchdog questioned the government’s position, after Cameron visited victims of intimidation and torture while attending the Commonwealth meeting in Colombo last week.
According to the report, the British government had approved arms export license last year, which included 100 pistols, 130 rifles, 210 combat shotguns, 600 assault rifles, unknown quantities of small arms ammunition and unknown quantities of machine guns.
Stanley said it was not credible for ministers to claim that the 8 million pounds of weapons exported to Sri Lanka last year, were all used to combat piracy.
Cameron called for an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan state, as he became the first foreign leader to visit the north of the country
A foreign office minister, meanwhile, said that the weapons export was approved because those weapons were sold to a private security companies, and not to the military, engaged in the fight against piracy in the region.