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Eljárás : 2013/2982(RSP)
A dokumentum állapota a plenáris ülésen
Válasszon egy dokumentumot : B7-0580/2013

Előterjesztett szövegek :

B7-0580/2013

Viták :

PV 12/12/2013 - 17.3
CRE 12/12/2013 - 17.3

Szavazatok :

PV 12/12/2013 - 18.3
CRE 12/12/2013 - 18.3

Elfogadott szövegek :

P7_TA(2013)0604

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 130kWORD 58k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0563/2013
10.12.2013
PE525.639v01-00
 
B7-0580/2013

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation in Sri Lanka (2013/2982(RSP))


Geoffrey Van Orden, Nirj Deva on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka (2013/2982(RSP))  
B7‑0580/2013

The European Parliament,

-          Having regard to its previous resolutions on Sri Lanka, in particular those of 12 May 2011 and 22 October 2009;

-          Having regard to the Statement by the European Commission of 15 February 2010 on the temporary withdrawal of GSP+ trade benefits from Sri Lanka;

-          Having regard to the UN Human Rights Council Resolution of 18 March 2013, on Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka;

-          Having regard to the report of 31 March 2011 of the UN Secretary-General’s informal Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka;

-          Having regard to the conventions to which Sri Lanka is a party, which require it to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and prosecute those responsible;

-          Having regard to the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron's calls for an independent investigation of war crime allegations;

-          Having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure;

 

A. Whereas International Human Rights treaties and the Laws of Armed Conflict, to which Sri Lanka is signatory, impose special obligations on Governments to protect the human rights of all their citizens and to observe certain constraints in the conduct of warfare;

B. Whereas there have been continued allegations of human rights abuse by the Sri Lankan authorities and of atrocity in the final stages of the conflict, while recognising that many of these allegations may be politically inspired, but understanding that they have sufficient and widespread traction for them to be fully and properly investigated as a matter of urgency;

C. Whereas the British Prime Minister visited Sri Lanka, including the Northern Province, from 14-17 November on the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and pressed for credible, transparent and independent investigations into alleged war crimes to begin before March 2014;

D. Whereas between June 1983 and May 2009, Sri Lanka was afflicted by the armed insurgency and terrorism of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) who the British Prime Minister saw as having done “disgusting and brutal things”; whereas on 17 May 2009 the Sri Lankan armed forces finally defeated the LTTE and retook all LTTE-held territory in the North of Sri Lanka;

E. Whereas the single most important advance in recent years in the human rights of the Sri Lankan peoples, came with that end to decades of brutal civil war, and the gradual re-establishment of the rule of law and democratically elected institutions in all parts of the country;

F. Whereas, of the three million Tamils in Sri Lanka, some two million live peacefully in the South, and the capital Colombo has more Tamils than any other ethnic group;

G. Whereas throughout the conflict, the LTTE carried out indiscriminate terrorist attacks on the civilian population, murdered Tamil representatives that opposed it and targeted key figures in government and security forces, particularly those of Tamil origin; whereas the LTTE continues to be proscribed as a banned terrorist organisation by the EU, the UK, US, India, Canada and many other countries where its supporters and propagandists continue to be active;

H. Whereas in May 2010, the Sri Lankan Government appointed an eight-member Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to look into events in Sri Lanka between February 2002 and May 2009, with the aim of ensuring accountability, justice and reconciliation; the final report of the LLRC was published on 15 November 2011 and contrary to the expectations of critics, contained robust conclusions, only some of which have been fully acted on;

I. Whereas in June 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed an informal Panel of Experts, chaired by Marzuki Darusman, to investigate alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka;

J. Whereas the Panel, which did not visit Sri Lanka, submitted its report on 12 April 2011, finding credible allegations that the military operations of the Sri Lankan army resulted in large numbers of civilian deaths but with no evidence that such violations took place on a deliberate or systematic basis; at the same time, the report confirmed that, in the final stages of the conflict, the LTTE used the civilian population as human shields; intensified its forcible recruitment of civilians, including children, into its ranks; executed civilians who attempted to escape the conflict zone; and deployed artillery in proximity to displaced civilians and civilian installations such as hospitals;

K. whereas the serious nature of the allegations in the report, and the continued international campaign of allegations, underline the need for resolution of this issue before lasting reconciliation can be achieved in Sri Lanka ;

L. Whereas the numbers of conflict-related deaths in Sri Lankan – from a high figure of “40,000” which originates as a “not necessarily accurate estimate” from the Darusman report to a low figure of about 8,000 from Government sources for the final 5 months of the conflict, including 2,400 security forces personnel - have regrettably become contested numbers and so there is currently no accurate assessment either of total numbers killed throughout the conflict or in its final stages;

M. Whereas a nation-wide census has now begun in Sri Lanka to ascertain first-hand the scale and circumstances of death and injury to civilians, as well as damage to property during the period of the conflict, following a key recommendation of the LLRC Report; whereas 16,000 officials will be deployed to collect detailed information;

N. Whereas in August 2013 an independent Commission of Inquiry was established to investigate and report on matters relating to alleged 'disappearances', with powers of prosecution;

O. Whereas the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, acknowledged on 13 November that “Since the end of the war in 2009 there has been progress which we welcome: civilians have been re-settled, infrastructure re-built, land mines removed, provincial elections held in the north, and many former Tamil combatants reintegrated back into Sri Lankan society";

*

1. Reaffirms, as we pay tribute to Nelson Mandela in this week following his death, the enormous importance of reconciliation following conflict and deep societal division;

2. Urges the Sri Lankan government to deepen its commitment to reconciliation of all the peoples of Sri Lanka – Sinhalese, Tamil and Burgher; Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Moslem – acknowledging and alleviating mistakes of the past, guaranteeing accountability and prosecution for serious abuse; ensuring freedom of expression even to harsh critics; introducing further practical steps towards reconciliation and welcoming international assistance from the democracies in this process;

3. Calls for the Government of Sri Lanka to be particularly active in addressing the political, economic and social concerns and interests of its Tamil citizens; to take further measures in terms of political devolution that will enable predominantly Tamil, as well as other areas, to exercise genuine control of their local administration within a united country; and help Tamil populations at home and abroad see that the defeat of the LTTE was an end to a brutal conflict and that they have nothing to fear from engagement in national reconstruction;

4. Urges a credible, transparent and independent investigation into alleged war crimes to be started before March 2014, as called for by the British Prime Minister, as the only way to address these matters in a way that will satisfy reasonable people both within Sri Lanka and the wider international community and assist the process of reconciliation; in this regard, recommends that a distinguished Judge from a Commonwealth country, be invited to chair the investigation and be given all the necessary powers to enable him properly to carry out his task;

5. Recognises that the LTTE that has been responsible for the intimidation, suppression and deaths of thousands of Sri Lankans, particularly among the Tamil community;

6. Nevertheless, expresses concern at the continuing allegations of human rights abuse in Sri Lanka, of lack of accountability, of ‘disappearances’, of corruption, of intimidation of the media, and of excessive military presence and economic involvement, along with failure to implement and communicate measures that would accelerate reconciliation of all the peoples of Sri Lanka;

7. Notes Sri Lanka's National Human Rights Action Plan, its human rights commitments and timeframes for action; underlines the importance of meeting these commitments particularly relating to ensuring an end to impunity and adopting measures to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for alleged 'enforced disappearances', in accordance with international norms and in a transparent manner; In this regard, welcomes the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry;

8. Acknowledges the enormous difficulties faced by the Sri Lankan authorities in overcoming the effects of over 30 years of conflict and notes the progress that has been made in terms of economic recovery with an annual national growth rate of 7.6%, and major infrastructure projects, as well as peace and stability and wider democratic participation;

9. Recognises the particular progress that has been made in the North and East, freed from occupation by the LTTE, where there has been a $3 billion investment in infrastructure; some 120,000 houses have been built and 2,000km of land has been cleared of landmines, enabling resettlement of over 293,000 Internally Displaced Persons; with democratically-elected civil administration restored, in the East in 2007, and in the North with the first provincial elections held on 25 September 2013 returning a coalition under the Tamil National Alliance;

10. Recommends establishment of a National Council of Reconciliation and urges all parties in Sri Lanka to join this process without preconditions and in a spirit of goodwill;

11. Calls on the EU and its Member States to increase the assistance provided through the Sri Lankan authorities to give substance to reconciliation and economic advancement;

12. Notes with concern Europol's recent EU “Terrorism Situation and Trend Report” that the LTTE is still active internationally, and that there remains a militant LTTE faction "proactively seeking support" in terms of financing, logistics and propaganda; notes that their fundraising methods are believed to include criminal activities, extortion and human trafficking; notes the on-going investigations of LTTE adherents in various EU Member States and elsewhere; calls on the EU and Member States to assist Sri Lanka more rigorously in curtailing fund-raising for LTTE offshoots and intimidation of people of Sri Lankan origin, now citizens of other countries, by supporters of the LTTE;

13. Commends the demining activities of the Sri Lankan army and international NGOs such as the HALO Trust, in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka heavily mined largely by the LTTE; welcomes the additional funding of £2 million for demining announced by the British Prime Minister; urges the Sri Lankan Government and armed forces, as well as the EU and Member States, to continue to provide the necessary resources for further clearance of land-mines, which are a serious obstacle to rehabilitation and economic regeneration; calls once more for Sri Lanka to accede to the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty;

*

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, to the Governments of Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, the Government and Parliament of Sri Lanka and the governments of the other SAARC countries.

 

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