European Union decision concerning Sri Lanka on 27 September 2005
is in total contradiction to the "conditions laid out by the
European Union on Turkey to join the EU". The EU is supporting a
government, which has a worse human rights record than Turkey.
The EU has failed to consider seriously many ground realities which
the Tamil people are undergoing in Sri Lanka. In the recent past,
many Tamil members of Civil society have been killed by the Sri
Lankan government. Most of these killings left ample evidence to
trace the assassins, but until today have not had proper
investigations nor have any culprits been brought to book and
punished. The culprits of these killings still remain in service
unpunished and impunity reigns in Sri Lanka.
The EU failed to comprehend the reality of the killings in Sri
Lanka. It is well known to everyone, including the UN Special
rapporteur on extra-judicial and arbitrary killings and
international human rights organisations that killings in Sri Lanka
where the government has been suspected of involvement, were neither
properly investigated nor were the culprits brought to justice
A few facts are given below:
1) The EU has failed to take into consideration that since
independence (1948) from the British - racist legislation and
Sinhala racism have been at the heart of the political problems
in Sri Lanka. Racist policies implemented on citizenship,
language, education, land and other areas
discriminate severely against the Tamil people in the island.
In 1972, twenty-four years after independence from British rule,
the dominant Sinhala Buddhist majority gave itself
an autochthonous constitution, renamed the island as 'Sri
Lanka' (Sinhala name) and ensured that the Constitution secured
a dominant role for Buddhism. The constitutional safeguards,
which had hitherto debarred the enactment of discriminatory
legislation, were scrapped.
2) The EU has failed to take into consideration that, as a
result of 58 years of
State planned Sinhala colonisation in the Tamil homeland
(North and East), the Sinhala governments and its destructive
agents plundered and robbed 50% of the ancestral lands of the
Tamils in the North East of Sri Lanka.
3) The EU has failed to take into consideration that in the
past, several agreements signed between the Tamil leaders
(Parliamentarians) and the Sinhala leaders (Prime Ministers) to
resolve the political turmoil in the country were
unilaterally abrogated by then Prime Ministers in power. (In
1957, the "Banda Chelva" pact and in 1965 the "Dudley-Chelva"
pact). These agreements were based on a quasi-federal system
devolving certain powers to the Tamils in the North East
4) The EU has failed to take into consideration that many
anti-Tamil programs (including those in
1983), unleashed by various Sri Lankan governments, Sinhala
extremist groups and thugs, ruined the socio-economic and the
political rights of the Tamil people. Thousands of Tamils were
massacred, burnt or hacked to death, women were raped and
millions of rupees worth of properties belonging to the Tamils
were looted and destroyed.
5) The EU has failed to take into consideration that more than
35 years of peaceful non-violent struggle by the Tamils to
protest against the Sinhala oppression, were suppressed by
violent means by the Sri Lankan security forces, inflicting loss
of many lives and much material damage to the Tamils.
6) The EU has failed to take into consideration that, in July
1977, the Tamil people in the North East overwhelmingly voted to
establish and exercise the “Right to Self-determination” in the
This mandate is still ignored by the Sri Lankan government
and the international community.
7) The EU has failed to take into consideration that, rule under
Emergency Regulations (ER) has become the norm - for more than
34 years since independence. The
Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary provision) Act - PTA,
made permanent in 1982, gives free hand to the Sri Lanka
security forces to arrest, detain, torture, rape, kill and
dispose of the bodies of Tamils with impunity.
8) The EU has failed to take into consideration that in
1998, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary
Disappearances stated that, "Sri Lanka had the second
highest number of disappearances in the world, ranking next to
Iraq". Also Sri Lanka was the only country that the UN Working
Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has visited
three times. So far no proper remedies have been found for these
9) The EU has failed to take into consideration that, over
79,000 Tamil people have been killed or “disappeared”; more than
12,500 Tamil women raped and killed; more than 2500 buildings of
Tamils' religious places of worship (Churches and Temples) have
been destroyed in aerial bombings and artillery shelling and
that billions of rupees worth of material damage has been caused
to the Tamils by the Sri Lankan government.
10) The EU has failed to take into consideration that, as a
result of well planned ethnic cleansing by the Sinhala State,
nearly 800,000 Tamil people were internally displaced and more
than 500,000 Tamils' have sought political asylum in Europe and
other countries. During the last three years of cease-fire, the
victims have not found either redress or remedies.
11) The EU has failed to give attention to many years of reports
UN Special rapporteurs and treaty bodies, wherein are
recorded massive and horrible human rights violations committed
by the Sri Lankan state. Also the EU has failed to consider
several reports by Parliamentarians belong to European Union
countries and other countries. These were published only after
visiting the North East of Sri Lanka.
12) The EU has failed to take into consideration that, in the
recent past, Sri Lanka’s attitude towards the United Nations,
its Secretary Generals and some International NGOs has been
disturbing. This blatantly antagonistic method of hiding the
truth from the International Community should not be brushed
under the carpet in a civilised world.
13) On 7th January 2005, the UN Secretary General made a
humanitarian visit to Sri Lanka to see the
Tsunami affected areas. When Kofi Annan requested to visit
the North East, the areas in the island most affected by the
tsunami, the Sri Lankan authorities deliberately prevented him
from making a humanitarian visit there. The EU has failed to
take into consideration that this is a serious violation of the
United Nations Charter, Chapter XV Article 100.
14) The EU has failed to take into consideration that in the
last General elections in Sri Lanka (April 2004), the political
party "Tamil National Alliance (TNA)" won overwhelmingly in 22
electorates in the North East. Their election manifesto stated,
"Accepting LTTE’s leadership as the national leadership of the
Tamil Eelam Tamils and the Liberation Tigers as the sole and
authentic representatives of the Tamil people, let us devote our
full cooperation for the ideals of the Liberation Tigers’
struggle with honesty and steadfastness".
The EU decision of 27 September 2005 is against a party to the
peace process, and a party to the Ceasefire Agreement in Sri Lanka.
In other words the EU decision is highly likely to be a stumbling
block to a peaceful negotiated settlement in Sri Lanka.
Overall, the EU's partial and discriminatory decision will encourage
the government of Sri Lanka to find a military solution to the
Ethnic conflict, thus paving the way for more bloodbaths, loss of
lives and further destruction in the island.
Placing the undeniable facts before the people of Europe and UK, we
urgently appeal to the European Union that the decision of the 27
September 2005 be immediately reconsidered and overturned in the
interests of peace and humanity in Sri Lanka.