‘DUP cannot ignore Paisley’s defence of war crimes regime’ - McGuigan
The DUP cannot dismiss the fact that its MP Ian Paisley lobbied in defence of a regime that carried out mass murder, war crimes and gross human rights abuses, Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has said.
The North Antrim MLA was commenting after the DUP’s Sammy Wilson appeared to rule out any further sanction against his party colleague who is facing an unprecedented suspension from Westminster and a possible by-election over his links to the Sri Lankan government.
Phillip McGuigan said: “Much of the focus of the Ian Paisley scandal has revolved around his failure to declare two lavish family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.
“That is understandable given the focus on integrity in government following the DUP’s involvement in a number of scandals including RHI, Nama, Red Sky and Dark Money for Brexit.
“These have all severely damaged public confidence in the political institutions but this latest scandal also calls into the question where the DUP stands on fundamental questions of human rights.
“Amnesty International has said that serious human rights abuses were committed with impunity by the Sri Lankan regime during the conflict there.
“Yet, after receiving his gifts from the Sri Lankan government, Ian Paisley actively lobbied the British Prime Minister to oppose a United Nations resolution to establish an international investigation into the human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
“Does the DUP leadership really believe that it is acceptable to dismiss the fact that one of its MPs lobbied in defence of a regime that carried out mass murder, war crimes and gross human rights abuses?
“This is a litmus test for the DUP leadership and If Ian Paisley does not do the right thing and voluntarily resign, his party should compel him to do so.”