European Parliament resolution on Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 November 2003, 16:28 GMT]
JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION pursuant to Rule 50(5) of the Rules of Procedure, by – John Walls Cushnahan, Geoffrey Van Orden, Thomas Mann, Philip Charles Bradbourn and Bernd Posselt on behalf of the PPE-DE Group – Margrietus J. van den Berg and Maria Carrilho on behalf of the PSE Group – Ole Andreasen on behalf of the ELDR Group – Didier Rod, Reinhold Messner and Jean Lambert on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group – Luigi Vinci on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group – Gerard Collins on behalf of the UEN Group

The European Parliament replacing the motions by the following groups: – PPE-DE (B5?0490/2003), – PSE (B5?0492/2003), – UEN (B5?0495/2003), – ELDR (B5?0498/2003), – Verts/ALE (B5?0505/2003), – GUE/NGL (B5?0510/2003), on Sri Lanka

European Parliament resolution on Sri Lanka The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions of 18 May 2000 and 14 March 2002 on Sri Lanka,

- having regard to the ceasefire agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) which entered into force on 23 February 2002,

- having regard to the Oslo Declaration of December 2002, in which the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE agreed to explore a solution based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka,

- having regard to the support given by the EU and the wider international community to the peace process, as reflected by the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka held on 9 and 10 June 2003, which pledged USD 4.5 bn over the next four years to underpin it, and which linked assistance pledged by donor countries to substantial and parallel progress in the peace process,

A. whereas the ceasefire agreement has now held for 21 months, longer than any previous attempt, and gives great hope for bringing an end to the twenty-year-long civil war that has caused over 60 000 deaths and has impeded the development prospects of Sri Lanka,

B. whereas political stability is vital to a long-term solution with the LTTE,

C. whereas the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which was elected in 2001, made the resolution of the conflict its main priority,

D. whereas the decision made by President Kumaratunga at the beginning of November to sack three ministers and prorogue parliament while Prime Minister Wickremansinghe was outside the country represents a threat to the peace process and shows the need, more than ever, for a real bipartisan commitment and approach to securing a political settlement in Sri Lanka between the major parties,

E. whereas Norway has played a key role in brokering talks, but has suspended its participation in the peace process until the political crisis within the government is resolved,

F. whereas prior to 4 November the peace dividend had already made a significant difference to the everyday life of Sri Lanka's citizens and also to the economy as a whole, as illustrated by the fact that the Colombo stock exchange was at a nine-year high and national GDP was experiencing a 5.6% growth rate as compared to 1.5% in 2001 while, additionally, incoming tourism was increasing substantially,

G. whereas expectations remain high that an end to military conflict could improve the problematic human rights situation in Sri Lanka, which was documented again in the fourth periodic report on Sri Lanka by the UN Commission on Human Rights, as adopted this month,

1. Acknowledges the bold steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to create the conditions in which negotiations may lead to a political solution and a lasting peace; on the basis of the Oslo Declaration of December 2002 where the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE agreed to explore a solution based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka.

2. Welcomes, therefore, the publication of the proposals by the Government of Sri Lanka for a provisional administrative structure and of those by the LTTE for an interim self-governing authority;

3. Acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Norway in facilitating the ongoing negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, and deeply regrets that the current political crisis and the lack of clarity as to who has political authority have obliged the Government of Norway to suspend its mediation role;

4. Acknowledges, furthermore, the contribution of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, especially the continuation of its work despite recent setbacks;

5. Expresses its deep concern about the recent developments in Sri Lanka which threaten the internationally supported peace process, notably the decisions by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to sack the three Ministers for Defence, Interior and Information and to prorogue the Parliament of Sri Lanka;

6. Regrets, furthermore, the comments made by President Kumaratunga on the validity of the ceasefire agreement signed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with the LTTE;

7. Believes that it is essential that the political differences between the two main parties in the south be resolved without delay; believes, furthermore, that this can best be achieved by the full and immediate restoration of parliamentary and governmental functions;

8. Urges the President, in the national interest, to work together with the democratically elected Government and its Prime Minister; welcomes, therefore, the recent establishment of a committee of officials to work out the details of future working arrangements under which the President and the Prime Minister could work together on these important national issues;

9. Welcomes the commitments given by all sides, including the LTTE, to maintaining the ceasefire agreement and respecting the peace process; stresses the need for full respect for human rights by both the armed forces and the LTTE;

10. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to continue to monitor progress in the search for a lasting and equitable political solution based on respect for human rights and democracy and the rule of law, securing the interests of all peoples and communities on the basis of a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the President, Prime Minster and Parliament of Sri Lanka, the LTTE, the Government of Norway and the other Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference, and the UN Commission on Human Rights.


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