Final version of the resolution agreed by the GUE/NGL in the European parliament

Full text can be found in:

1 June 2011
This hearing agreed to a resolution. This is an amended version taking on board a number of supplementary points raised during and after the hearing.

1. We recognise that the Tamil-speaking peoples’ rights in Sri Lanka have been consistently undermined by successive Sri Lankan governments. In the past 30 years, this assault on their rights has been intensified immensely. The Sri Lankan state is headed by an executive presidency under Mahinda Rajapaksa which controls all aspects of governance, including that of the judiciary, and has failed completely to meet the democratic and other basic needs of the population.
2. We recognise that the Sri Lankan military killed more than 40,000 people, the vast majority of whom were civilians, in the final phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in May 2009. Eye-witness accounts of repeated bombardments of field hospitals, makeshift schools and temporary shelters, together with the mass of evidence from humanitarian and human rights organisations, media outlets (such as, Channel 4 News) and the bishop of Mannar, among many others, lend strong support to the charges of genocide against the Sri Lankan government and armed forces chiefs.
3. Sharing the widespread and international rejection of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission set up by the Sri Lankan government, we welcome the demand in the United Nations advisory panel’s report (25 April 2011) for an impartial independent inquiry. We also note that there is support for this recommendation within Sri Lanka. And we will do all we can to ensure that any such international inquiry is rigorous and meaningful.
4. For such an inquiry to be truly independent, however, it should be a people’s tribunal consisting of accountable representatives of working-class and poor people from all communities, chosen by them and observed by international trade union and human rights organisations. Only such a body could be truly free of the influence of the Sri Lankan government and their international collaborators.
5. The Sri Lankan government must publish immediately the names and details of those still held in detention, including the charges against them. All those held without charge should be released. The detention camps should be closed down immediately and those released should be provided with the means to resettle. The government should also release all information it has about those who died in the war, and provide aid to the families affected by the loss of family members and other effects of the conflict.
6. The military bases set up in the north and east of Sri Lanka should be shut down. They represent a de facto army of occupation. We oppose the attempts by the regime to split up predominantly Tamil-speaking areas with army bases or by population settlement and displacement. A long-term political solution should be put forward to address the national and democratic aspirations of the Tamil-speaking peoples.
7. We demand an end to the culture of impunity enjoyed by representatives of the regime, and an immediate end to the emergency legislation, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which is used to suppress any opposition to the government.
8. We support the campaign for trade union and other democratic rights in the north and east. Indeed, all Sri Lankans, regardless of their ethnic and religious identities, should have full and equal rights. We also uphold the right to form political parties, to hold meetings and contest elections. We oppose the setting up of free-trade zones in which workers are super-exploited.
9. We oppose the sale of arms and military equipment, and the provision of training to Sri Lanka’s armed forces, as well as commercial and financial support to the current government.
10. We support the right of self-determination of the Tamil-speaking people, up to and including secession, according to their wishes, while safeguarding the rights of all minorities throughout Sri Lanka.
11. We agree fully with the initiative for a fact-finding delegation by the GUE/NGL group of MEPs to be sent to Sri Lanka this year.