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HomeTamils - a Nation without a State > Struggle for Tamil Eelam  >  Human Rights & the Tamil People >Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) > European Parliament resolution encouraging Sri Lanka to opt for a military solution


European Parliament resolution encouraging
Sri Lanka to opt for a military solution
Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR)

2 June 2006

The resolution of the 17 May 2006 by the European Parliament is encouraging the Sri Lanka government to opt for a military solution to the island�s long-standing bloody conflict. This latest resolution is one sided and justifies the Government violations.

This document is already being used for lobbying by the Sri Lankan government and its propagandists. The pro-government and racist newspapers in Colombo have stated that it was passed unanimously in the European parliament, which is not true.

TCHR would like to give some of our observations on this biased resolution as follows :

First of all we would like to thank those MEPs who brought this joint motion for a resolution in the European parliament. Even though this resolution is biased, it has proved that the happenings in Sri Lanka for the Tamil people must be discussed internationally, contradicting the claim by the Sri Lankan leaders that it is an "internal problem".

Secondly, we would like to point out that there are deliberate omissions of the use of the word "Tamil" in the whole text and nothing at all has been said about the "Paramilitaries" which have been the main cause of the whole problem since the first round of Geneva talks. The resolution, which speaks about pluralism, does not mention the "Buddha statue" which was illegally erected on 15 May 2005 in Trincomalee. This illegally erected Buddha statue still remains in place and has created enormous problems in Trincomalee.

Furthermore, there is no mention of the non-implementation of many important articles in the "Ceasefire Agreement", which should have been implemented within 30-90 days of the signing of the Agreement. For example, (1) article 1.8 on disarming of Tamil Paramilitary groups (2) article 2.2 & 2.3 which demand that the armed personnel vacate places of worship and school buildings situated in high security zones and make these places accessible to the public (3) article 2.12 stipulates that no search operations and arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism should take place. Since President Mahinda Rajapaksa came into power, almost every day there have been cordon and search operations, especially on 30-31 December last year, when more than a thousand Tamil youths were arrested in Colombo.

Paragraphs in the document :

(B) Says that "ceasefire breaches run into thousands", accusing only one party to the conflict.

It is interesting to note that paragraph I-6 of the same document, "Calls on both the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka to refrain from further actions liable to jeopardise the peace process, and in particular attacks on civilians";

(C) Says that, "��..and the attack on the Batticaloa district office of the SLMM on 13 January 2006 in a deliberate attempt to undermine the Ceasefire Agreement".

In fact the SLMM district office in Batticaloa is located within a High Security Zone and there is a Sri Lankan Army camp, which accommodates paramilitary groups located near this SLMM office. We hope these MEPs can understand who would have caused this problem referred to in the resolution as a "deliberate attempt to undermine the ceasefire Agreement.

This is a typical example which demonstrates clearly who is jeopardising the whole Ceasefire Agreement.

(D) Says that "��.on May 11 the LTTE attacked a vessel carrying 710 unarmed members of the security forces���.". This is factually wrong. The ship and the 710 members of the security forces it was carrying were safe and retuned home. Not a single bullet was fired by the LTTE on this ship.

In fact, two Dvora Fast Attack Crafts (FAC) of the Sri Lankan Navy were destroyed on the same day in clashes that erupted between the Navy boats and the Sea Tigers boats in seas off Vadamarachi East where the Sri Lankan Air Force Kfir jets had bombed the civilian populated Vanni area. Here, this resolution has failed to take both these incidents into account. Please refer to the news published concerning this affair by the international news agencies on that particular day - AFP, Reuter and others.

(E) In this paragraph, the word "Tamil" should have been included.

In fact, Since 19 November 2005, when Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the President of Sri Lanka, more than 300 innocent Tamils - Academics, educationalists, parliamentarians, journalists, businessmen and others have been killed by security forces and the paramilitary forces for which President Rajapaksa is the Commander in Chief. Please refer to :
http://www.tamilcanadian.com/pageview.php?ID=4062&SID=146 )

(G) Says that, "�����the LTTE pulled out again of the second round of peace talks in April, jeopardising the opportunity for political progress".

This was said without knowing the realities of the first round of peace talks.It was agreed in the first round of peace talks in Geneva that the Sri Lankan government would disarm the "Tamil Paramilitary groups" before the second round of peace talks. The government did not disarm them. Also it was the Sri Lankan government, which went against the normal practice and deliberately refused to transport the LTTE regional commanders for a meeting before the second round of talks. These facts have been completely ignored by the MEP who contributed to this resolution.

(H) Says that, "whereas any restoration of the peace process should seek the involvement of a wide range of communities and political organisations in Sri Lanka, including Northern Muslims representatives,"

This resolution, which favours the next round of peace talks between LTTE and the government of Sri Lanka (paragraph I-2), creates conditions for any future talks. Obviously, such a statement may well become a stumbling block for any future peace talks. Here the MEPs have completely forgotten the fact that the MOU was signed only between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government under the mediation of the Royal Norwegian government.

(I) Says that, "whereas human rights organisations have not been able to effectively investigate human rights abuses, and the SLMM does not have the mandate independently to investigate these breaches,"

If so, how then can this document blame and condemn only one side to the conflict � LTTE?

(1) Says that "���.and condemns, therefore, the LTTE's unilateral refusal to participate in the second round of negotiations in Geneva that were scheduled for April 2006".

Has this MEP ever taken into consideration the conditions that were deliberately created by the Sri Lankan government to antagonise the LTTE and prevent them from attending the second round of peace talks? We invite this MEP to follow the day-to-day incidents in Sri Lanka and also to consult the SLMM on this matter.

(2) Says that "����.. to be prepared to decommission its weapons and to set the stage for a final political settlement of the conflict".

This resolution, while maintaining a strict silence on the non-implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, especially on disarming of Tamil Paramilitary groups, springs the surprise of mentioning decommissioning. This in itself, is obvious proof that the resolution firmly goes along with the Sri Lanka government agenda.

First, the people who were affected by the 20 years war have got neither redress nor compensation nor resettlement.

Secondly this sensitive matter should be decided by the Tamil people rather the Parliamentarians in Europe because it is the people of the North East who are the ones who face the daily barbaric atrocities of the Sri Lankan security forces and its paramilitary forces.

(3 & 4)

These paragraphs show that the fact has been totally forgotten, that it was Mahinda Rajapaksa who breached the four years old Cease-fire Agreement and openly declared war on 25 April 2006, ordering deliberate military attacks by Air, Sea, and Land on the Tamil population in Trincomalee.

In this operation - several innocent people including children were killed and many seriously wounded. More than 40,000 people were made homeless and displaced. The killings of innocents still continue under his leadership.


If MEPs were truly serious about the rights and well being of children, there could have been a condemnation of the Sri Lankan government for killing Tamil children. Even two weeks ago there were merciless killings of Tamil Children and civilians in the North East.

(8) Says "����that the LTTE does not represent the Tamils peoples of Sri Lanka".

Of course not. The Tamils in the Tea plantation are represented by their political parties and their leaders. In the North East of the island, it was "Tamil National Alliance (TNA)" who won overwhelmingly in 22 electorates in the North East in the last general election in April 2004.

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".

As politicians and parliamentarians, MEPs should know better than anyone that there is no election in the world, which is won with 100% of votes. But it does not mean that the individual/party/government who won the election even by a small majority does not represent the rest who did not vote in their favour.

Careful consideration of the ground realities, reveals that 35 years of non-violent struggle by the Tamils were violently suppressed by the Sinhala government. As a result of the persistent state terrorism the LTTE was born only in 1972 as a guerrilla movement and developed as a conventional army. For more than a decade, it has administered 70% of the area with very effective socio-economic and other structures.

Being veteran politicians and parliamentarians, surely MEPs could not believe that all this is possible without the support of the masses?

(10) Says that, "�����.UN Human Rights Council places an obligation on the government to manifest its commitment to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights"

Sri Lanka sought membership in the UN Human Rights Council not to manifest its commitment to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. It was purely with the purpose of justifying their horrendous human rights record in the UN. This is what Sri Lanka has done in the past. TCHR has witness this over a long period of time. Let us wait and see what happens in the coming years.

(11) Even while massacres, mass arrests, rapes, etc were taking place in the North East, the Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission, never uttered a word on those violations. Now what is the miracle that they are going to achieve?

(13) Please go through the whole history of the Tsunami affected North East. It was a tragic story not only concerning the casualties but also the callous reaction of the Sri Lankan government even at a time of a natural disaster in Tamil areas.

For your information, 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.

This is a serious violation of the United Nations Charter, Chapter XV Article 100.

The refusal of permission for Kofi Annan to visit the areas most affected by the tsunami, which are under the LTTE administration, shows the ulterior motive of the the government of Sri Lanka.

It is believed that the government did not want Kofi Annan to see for himself the support from the Tamil population that the LTTE enjoys in those areas. The government had much to gain by covering up the reality in the LTTE administrated areas. This became an opportunity for every world citizen to understand, how the facts have been systematically hidden by the government during war-time.

The European Parliament resolution is one sided and fully supportive of an oppressive government, and fails to take into consideration the realities in Sri Lanka :

(1) 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 disappearances.

(2) Also we invite the MEPs to read the report of the UN Special Rapporteur, on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions visited Sri Lanka and submitted a comprehensive report (E/CN.4/1998/68/Add.2 - 12 March 1998) on extrajudicial killings in Sri Lanka to the 54th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

In conclusion, we are well aware that this joint motion for a resolution was originally scheduled to be debated last February and it was postponed. Knowing what was going to happen in the European Parliament, the Sri Lankan government deliberately created very difficult conditions in which the LTTE was forced into a situation where they were unable to attend the second round of peace talks. The Sri Lankan government manipulated everything as pre-planned.

The man behind this motion was none other than a conservative MEP from Britain who is a Singhalese. It was well moved and he maintained a very low profile during the debate in the European Parliament. As was pre-planned, all was taken care of by his colleagues.

Even though it was a resolution in the European Parliament, it was a resolution purely motivated by a Singhalese originally from Sri Lanka. Those who do not know the secret of this resolution may take it seriously as of the European Parliament. Yes, of course it was endorsed by the European parliament.

This is how the Sri Lankan government plants its people in every International institution and makes use of such opportunities to do a high profile lobby. We could quote several examples, which have taken place within the United Nations and now in the European Parliament.

This shows that the MEPs who voted for this resolution do not know the effects of the tricks of the Sri Lankan government and its propaganda machine.

We understand that the MEPs involved in this resolution are innocent, with the exception of the Singhalese MEP whose interest was to promote the ethnic agenda of the government of his birth place and his Singhalese friends in the United Kingdom. This is a very good example for the whole world to understand the cunning and mean ways of Sri Lankan propagandists in the international arena.

In conclusion, this resolution is stronger than that which could have been passed in the Sri Lanka parliament. As there are MEPs who do not know the history and the ground realities in Sri Lanka, it was very easy for an MEP like the Singhalese one to dupe the innocent MEPs.

We would like to inform the MEPs who supported this resolution that there are 500,000 Tamil asylum seekers already in the western countries. This resolution, which encourages the persecutory actions of the Sri Lankan government, may well bring another 500,000 or more Tamil asylum seekers to the west in the future. We hope that those who are supporting a military solution in Sri Lanka, will be prepared to welcome these refugees as well.


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