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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 184th session
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka who was assassinated on 1 January 2008, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/184/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 183rd session (October 2008),

Referring also to the report on the mission to Sri Lanka which the Committee carried out in February 2008 (CL/183/12(b)-R.2) and to the police progress report forwarded by the Parliament on 1 April 2009; noting also that at the session it held during the 120th Assembly, the Committee heard members of the Sri Lankan delegation,

Recalling the following information on file: Mr. Maheswaran voted against the budget on 14 December 2007 and soon after the vote the number of his security guards was cut from eighteen to two; he had openly made several statements in and outside parliament to the effect that the reduction of his security detail put his life seriously at risk and had made repeated requests to the Government to enhance his security, to no avail; on 1 January 2008, while attending a religious ceremony in a Hindu temple in Colombo, he was shot and died of his injuries in a Colombo hospital; the attack came after he had stated in a television interview that, at the resumption of parliamentary sittings on 8 January 2008, he would describe in detail the terror campaign that the Government was pursuing in Jaffna, especially how abductions and killings were managed,

Recalling further that the authorities arrested Johnson Colin Valentirio alias “Wasantha”, from Jaffna, who had been identified as the gunman on the basis of a DNA analysis that had enabled the investigators to conclude that the assailant was a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadre who had been specifically sent to Colombo to kill Mr. Maheswaran; that a video recording of the culprit's confession existed, and his parents had confirmed that he was an LTTE member; that, according to the police progress report forwarded in August 2008, the Attorney General filed an indictment and the case was to be called on 19 August 2008; noting that the police progress report of April 2009 merely repeats that information,

  1. Thanks the authorities for the information provided; also thanks the Sri Lankan delegation for its cooperation;

  2. Notes with regret that, since August 2008, the investigation has apparently made no progress; wishes to ascertain whether an indictment has now been filed and the case listed for hearing;

  3. Reaffirms the conclusion of the mission report that there can be no better deterrent for violence targeting members of parliament and indeed the public at large than combating impunity and ensuring that those responsible for assassinations and other crimes are identified, apprehended and brought to justice, and urges the authorities to take firm action to this end;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to seek the above information from the authorities and from the sources;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 121st Assembly of the IPU (October 2009).
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