IPU Logo-middleInter-Parliamentary Union  
IPU Logo-bottomChemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland  


Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 185th session
(Geneva, 21 October 2009)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians of Sri Lanka, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/185/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 184th session (April 2009),

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which contains a detailed outline of the case (CL/185/11(b)-R.1),

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),

Taking note of the meeting the Committee held with Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights and with Dr. Jayawardena during the 121st Assembly, and of the documents they provided,

Recalling that the members of parliament concerned, except for Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and Mr. Mano Ganesan, belong to the Tamil National Alliance and have been the target of death threats and harassment, of attempts on their lives or attacks on their property, or both, and that the investigations in these cases have been to no avail; that at least three of the parliamentarians concerned have reportedly gone into exile, and noting in this connection that the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Sri Lanka stipulate that parliamentarians forfeit their seat in the event of unjustified absence for three consecutive months,

Recalling more particularly the following:

  • In December 2007, relatives of Mr. Ariyanethran and Mr. Jayanandamoorthy and a member of Ms. Kathimaran’s staff were abducted, reportedly by the paramilitary group Pillayan, and they were warned that the abducted persons would be killed should they vote against the budget. According to the information provided by the authorities in October 2008, the evidence available was recorded by the police; however, neither the victims nor the police were able to identify the culprits, nor the places where they were held, or to establish a logical motive for their abduction. They were all released on 15 December 2007. As to Mr. Kanagasabai, on 18 November 2007 he lodged a complaint with the police regarding the alleged abduction of his son-in-law, who was released on 19 November. According to the authorities, the victim was unable to give consistent explanations of the motive for the abduction or the identity of the perpetrators. However, investigations were continuing under judicial review;

  • Mr. Kajendren's brother was abducted on 24 March 2009 by armed persons inside the high security area in Madiwela/Colombo while he was returning to Mr. Kajendren's home; eyewitnesses reported that he was stopped by a police sentry for a routine check; a little later, a van and more police officers arrived at the scene and he was bundled into the vehicle before it sped off; this occurred reportedly barely 48 hours before the TNA was to decide whether or not to accept an invitation for direct talks with President Rajapakse; Mr. Kajendren’s brother reappeared in April 2009, but was warned by his abductors not to divulge any information; the police report conveyed by the Ministry for Disaster Management and Human Rights on 17 June 2009 states that Mr. Kajendren’s brother “was unable to furnish any useful information to identify the abductors or to locate the place where he was kept”. An inquiry was being conducted by Mirihana Police to identify the abductors;

  • Mr. Kajendren’s driver, Mr. Kones, was reportedly arrested on 10 May 2009 at Karunayake International Airport. He was about to leave for Switzerland, where he had been granted political asylum in view of the death threats he had been receiving, reportedly from the Elam People’s Democratic Party (EDPD) and army intelligence, ever since he started working for Mr. Kajendren in 2004. He was reportedly arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division and is currently detained at Pusa Prison in Galle. No charges have reportedly been brought against him and the source fears that charges may be fabricated. Mr. Kones’s wife and child are reportedly in a refugee detention camp in Vavuniya and cannot therefore file a case against the arrest and detention. The source believes that Mr. Kones’s arrest is intended to intimidate Mr. Kajendren,
Considering that Dr. Jayawardena has repeatedly sought permission to visit the IDP camps set up following the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE); that, however, permission has been denied by the Defence Minister although it had been granted to a group of British and Indian parliamentarians; that, likewise, permission for him and members of Parliament’s human rights group which he had founded, to visit welfare centres and government hospitals in the districts of Mannar and Vavunyia was denied; that, moreover, in the last five months the TNA parliamentarians were reportedly unable to visit their constituencies as no permission was given by the Defence Minister; noting that according to Minister Samarasinghe only two opposition members had applied for permission; that a request by Mr. Amaratunga MP, to visit the IDP camps was granted, but that Mr. Amaratunga failed to provide a date for the visit; that security concerns had to be taken into account when granting permits as the authorities had to be careful about whom to let into the camps; that, however, requests by MPs to visit the camps would be facilitated; noting also that, according to Mr. Samarasinghe, the Government was making every effort to ensure that IDPs can leave the camps and return to their homes as quickly as possible and that there was hope that by the end of January 2010 the bulk of the resettlement process would be completed,

Bearing in mind that the war in the north is over and that the Sri Lankan Government is now in control of the entire State territory and that elections will take place in 2010,

  1. Thanks the Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights for his cooperation and for the information he provided;

  2. Is alarmed at the restriction of freedom of movement of members of parliament, in particular those belonging to the opposition, who have been prevented from visiting the people who elected them and who are now living in the IDP camps which they are not allowed to leave; calls on the Government to grant members of parliament access to the IDP camps and to respect their freedom of movement so that they can carry out the mandate entrusted to them by the people whom they represent and can campaign in the next elections;

  3. Remains deeply concerned at the repeated abductions of family members and staff of TNA parliamentarians and urges the authorities to make every effort to elucidate those crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice so as to prevent the recurrence of such crimes; recalls that there are clear leads as to the group behind the abductions in 2007 and its motives; considers that sufficient eyewitness reports exist of the recent abduction of Mr. Kajendren’s brother so that the police need not rely on testimony from him as he may have been threatened into not revealing any information;

  4. Is concerned that Mr. Kajendren’s driver has now been arrested and is being detained reportedly without charge; and wishes to ascertain on what legal grounds he is being held; recalls that Sri Lanka, as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees freedom from arbitrary arrest, must respect the right of arrested persons to be informed of the accusation brought against them, to have access to a lawyer, to be brought promptly before a judge, and to be entitled to challenge their detention;

  5. Notes that the investigation into the other incidents covered by this case have been to no avail, and that no further complaints were submitted to the Committee in this respect; notes also that the security concerns regarding Dr. Jayawardena have been addressed and that the Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights pledged to settle the only outstanding issue concerning the provision of appropriate communication equipment for his security guards; requests the Committee therefore to continue, where appropriate, to examine these incidents under its confidential procedure;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to inform the authorities and the sources accordingly;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 122nd IPU Assembly (March-April 2010).
Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 121st IPU Assembly and related meetings" in PDF format (file size 583K approximately). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader