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Procedure : 2021/2748(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0361/2021

Texts tabled :

B9-0361/2021

Debates :

PV 10/06/2021 - 7.2
CRE 10/06/2021 - 7.2

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0290

<Date>{08/06/2021}8.6.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0361/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 156kWORD 46k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

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

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on The situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act</Titre>

<DocRef>(2021/2748(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Željana Zovko, Tomáš Zdechovský, Michael Gahler, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Paulo Rangel, Gabriel Mato, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Sara Skyttedal, Miriam Lexmann, Loránt Vincze, Krzysztof Hetman, Vladimír Bilčík, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Ivan Štefanec, Inese Vaidere, Vangelis Meimarakis, Peter Pollák, Christian Sagartz, Lefteris Christoforou, José Manuel Fernandes, Stanislav Polčák, Loucas Fourlas, Eva Maydell, Michaela Šojdrová, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Jiří Pospíšil, Maria Walsh</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0355/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0361/2021

European Parliament resolution on The situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

(2021/2748(RSP))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to the European Parliaments resolutions on the situation in Sri Lanka of 12 May 2011 and 22 October 2009,

  having regard to the Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in particular, Promotion reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,

  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

  having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

  having regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

  having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

  having regard to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,

  having regard to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture,

  having regard to the 1995 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on Partnership and Development,

  having regard to the European Union – Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting on 25 January 2021,

  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) resolutions on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’, in particular the ones of 16 March 2021 and 14 October 2015,

  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

  1. whereas Sri Lanka has been marred by a protracted 37 year-long civil war which ended in 2009, during which serious human rights violations were committed by both sides;

 

  1. whereas the Sri Lankan government has struggled to uphold its commitment to the OHCHR in the key areas of justice and national reconciliation; whereas the human rights situation in the country remains worrisome;

 

  1. whereas the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has been in place in Sri Lanka since 1979 and grants police with broad powers to search, arrest and detain civilian suspects;

 

  1. whereas recent modifications of the PTA on 9 March 2021 allow for two years of detention without trial for anyone “who surrenders or is taken into custody on suspicion” of causing or intending to cause “religious, racial or communal disharmony or feelings of ill will or hostility between different communities or racial or religious groups”;

 

  1. whereas the wide-ranging powers contained in the PTA have led to consistent and well-founded allegations of torture and sexual abuse, forced confessions, and systematic denials of due process;

 

  1. whereas the Sri Lankan government holds an obligation to protect its citizens from the threat of terrorism; whereas that protection is a part of, and must not be seen in conflict with, its overall duty to protect human rights;

 

  1. whereas the perpetrators of the 2019 deadly Easter Sunday attacks, when in three hotel and three church bombings 279 people were killed, have not been brought to justice yet;

 

  1. whereas on 20 October 2020 the Parliament passed the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, reinforcing the executive presidency;

 

  1. whereas the EU’s decision to readmit Sri Lanka to the GSP+ in May 2017 was taken on the basis of concrete commitments to implement 27 international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection, climate change and good governance;

 

  1. whereas the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated multiple social and economic tensions, affecting in particular the situation of vulnerable groups;

 

  1. whereas the EU has a strong commitment to continue its long-standing support for Sri Lanka's development and has provided Sri Lanka with 22 million EUR to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the agricultural sector, re-start tourism industry and support the work of the World Health Organisation in Sri Lanka;

 

  1. Expresses its concern about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the impunity and lack of accountability for past human rights violations by various agents, and the excessive application of the PTA, which continued application in its current form does not adhere to international practices and human rights principles;
  2. Calls on the Sri Lankan Government to amend the PTA and bring it in line with international standards immediately;
  3. Notes the passing of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which  raises serious doubts about the resulting decline in judiciary independence and parliamentary control, and leads to an excessive accumulation of power with the presidency;
  4. Welcomes Sri Lanka’s continued moratorium on the death penalty as well as progress achieved in the context of the elimination of child labour and forced labour;
  5. Underlines the crucial importance to ensure that the national reconciliation process is given the necessary attention and goes forward with concrete actions, including accountability for enforced disappearances and past crimes; regrets Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from the commitments to the OHCHR following its resolution 30/1, and encourages it to re-engage in this process with the OHCHR, which is instrumental in restoring relations with the international community and creating a process of national reconciliation between the diverse Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Christian communities;
  6. Welcomes the EU’s past support to reconciliation efforts and underscores the EU’s readiness to support Sri Lanka in this field;
  7. Expresses concern about the growing role and interference of China in Sri Lanka;
  8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the UN, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Government and Parliament of Sri Lanka.

 

 

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