Sunday, October 25, 2009

European parliament raps Sri Lanka government on Tamil civilians' condition

Click here to read the complete resolution

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka on Oct 22 deploring the fact "that over 250,000 Tamil civilians are still held in camps, contrary to undertakings given by the Colombo government."

The resolution asked that their return be organized and that humanitarian organizations be given free access to the camps in order to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance.

European lawmakers in the statement called “on the Sri Lankan authorities to grant humanitarian organizations free access to the camps in order to provide those detained with the necessary humanitarian assistance, particularly with the imminent arrival of monsoon rains in the north of the country.”

Welcoming the introduction of “the Victim and Witness Assistance and Protection Bill, which is currently at second reading in the Sri Lankan Parliament,” the resolution asked the government to respect human rights in the conduct of trials of LTTE members.

The resolution insisted that Sri Lankan Government is “under an obligation to apply international human right standards in judicial proceedings against members of the LTTE.”

The pan-European assembly urged Sri Lankan government to "stop the repression of the media under anti-terrorist legislation and to allow freedom of the press; and calls on it, now that the conflict has ended, to review its anti-terrorist legislation and to ensure that all alleged violations of media freedom are the subject of full, open and transparent investigations”

The European parliament asked the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU to “sponsor additional support for urgent mine-clearance work in Sri Lanka,” while asking Colombo to “take the very positive step of acceding to the Ottawa Treaty (Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction).”

Moreover, the lawmakers called on Tamil leaders to commit themselves to a political settlement and renounce terrorism and violence once and for all.


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