Former UK PM raised Manipur violence issue in House of Lords

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Former UK PM raised Manipur violence issue in House of Lords

Imphal: Former UK Prime Minister and current British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, addressed the House of Lords on the issue of religious conflict in Manipur, India.

Responding to a question from the Lord Bishop of Winchester about the status of religious freedom in India, Cameron acknowledged the religious dimension to the strife.

To questions on religious freedom in India and the situation in Manipur, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said, “It is right to say that we should not downplay the religious aspects of some of this strife. Yes, sometimes it is communal, tribal or ethnic, but in many cases, there is a clear religious part of it…”

“… There have been occasions where it has been something we have raised with the Indian government. That should continue.”

He referred to a report by David Campanale which highlighted the destruction of churches among both valley dwellers and hill tribes in Manipur.

Lord Singh of Wimbledon raised concerns about religious intolerance in India, citing incidents such as the Ayodhya riots and the persecution of Christians and Sikhs.

He called for religious freedom to be prioritised in the Commonwealth Charter. Cameron agreed with Singh’s emphasis on religious tolerance and freedom in India.

Lord Purvis of Tweed later questioned the terms of the UK-India trade deal with respect to media, data and telecoms, stressing the importance of mutual openness in reporting human rights issues.

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