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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Having before it the case of Mr. D.M. Dassanayake, the Minister of Nation-Building and a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, who was assassinated on 8 January 2008, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians following the Procedure for the treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of the human rights of members of parliament,

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which contains a detailed outline of the case (CL/182/12(b)-R.1-Add.),

Considering that Mr. Dassanayake was killed, along with a bodyguard, in a roadside bomb attack in the town of Ja-Ela, north of Colombo, which also left 10 people wounded; that although no one has claimed responsibility, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are widely suspected of being behind the attack,

Considering that, at the invitation of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the Committee carried out an on-site visit to Sri Lanka from 21 to 24 February 2008, and noting that the Committee's delegation was able fully to discharge its mandate, which was to gather as detailed information as possible from all parties concerned on the case in question,

  1. Thanks the Sri Lankan authorities for having received the mission and made the necessary arrangements to enable it to carry out its mandate; also thanks the Committee's delegation for its work and awaits with interest the mission's report and any comments on it by the parties with whom the delegation met;

  2. Condemns the murder of Mr. Dassanayake, and affirms that the string of assassinations of other high-profile and outspoken politicians which have all remained unpunished so far, confirms that impunity can only foster the recurrence of crime and that, moreover, it is a formidable deterrent for parliamentarians wishing to speak out on critical issues;

  3. Trusts that the authorities are carrying out, as is their duty, a thorough and independent investigation to identify the assassins and hold them to account;

  4. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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