The Inter-Parliamentary Union is calling on the government of Sri
Lanka to mount a thorough investigation of the murders of three
Members of Parliament, two of them Tamils. The IPU's Human Rights
Committee, which has wrapped up its latest session, has examined
cases of abuse of some 300 MPs in 29 countries.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union says the Sri Lankan government no
longer has any reason for not investigating the murders of the
Parliamentarians now that its long-running civil war with the Tamil
Tiger rebels is over.
Chair of the IPU's Human Rights Committee, Canadian Senator, Sharon
Carstairs, says the government has always maintained it was unable
to investigate the murders because they occurred in rebel-held
territory. She says that excuse no longer exists.
She tells VOA, Tamil Parliamentarians are subject to arbitrary
arrest, harassment and intimidation. She says her Committee is
concerned about the situation of 12 Tamil Parliamentarians. She says
they essentially have been stripped of their rights of freedom of
movement and of their ability to perform their legislative duties.
She says the Tamil Parliamentarians are reluctant to leave the
capital, Colombo, because their security is not guaranteed.
"So, there is great fear among the Tamil Parliamentarians,"
Carstairs said. "So, what we hope from Sri Lanka at this point is to
get a new signal from them that Tamil Parliamentarians will have
freedom of movement, they will have adequate security, they will be
full participants of the government of Sri Lanka because they are
duly elected Parliamentarians."