1. ITV Report

MP fears a cover-up after Red Cross worker murdered

Khuram Shaikh Photo:

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has expressed fears of a cover-up by the Sri Lankan Government after Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh was murdered last Christmas.

Speaking as the first anniversary of Khuram’s death approaches, he said he was worried the Government was trying to “quietly drop the case to protect a local politician”.

Khuram was shot and stabbed on Christmas day in the resort of Tangelle after he tried to act as peacemaker to rescue a local restaurant owner who was being harassed by a group of drunks.

But now, almost a year on, the eight have been released on bail, no charges brought and there is no trial in sight. The politician has been accepted back into the ruling party and there are growing concerns that the investigation is being dogged by “political interference”.

Khuram Shaikh Credit: ITV Granada

“The deputy high commissioner has told me he fears that ‘political interference’ is stopping justice taking its course where Khuram’s killing is concerned.”

“Despite assurances from the Government that there would be a swift and straight forward trial this is going nowhere and ministers and police are sitting on their hands.”

– Simon Danczuk MP

Adding that the eyes of the world would be on Sri Lanka next year, as they host the Commonwealth heads of Government summit, he said the Prime Minister should consider boycotting the meeting.

“David Cameron should think twice about attending this meeting while British nationals are being brutally murdered in Sri Lanka with local politicians implicated and their Government is not even prepared to investigate properly,” he said.

Calling on Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt to make more robust representations to the Sri Lankan Government at a lack of progress in the case, he said their counterparts needed to be reminded of how valuable British tourism is.

“Every year thousands of British tourists visit Sri Lanka,” he said, “and what happened to Khuram could happen to anyone. It’s not enough to keep building tourist resorts if there is no rule of law and tourists can be brutally killed for no reason.”