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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 Mr. Nadarajah Raviraj, a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka who was assassinated on 10 November 2006, 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); referring also to the report on the on-site mission to Sri Lanka carried out by the Committee in February 2008 (CL/183/12(b)-R.2,

Noting that the Committee met with Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights during the 121st IPU Assembly,

Recalling that Mr. Raviraj, a member of the Tamil National Alliance, was shot dead in Colombo in the morning of 10 November 2006 along with his security officer while travelling in his vehicle along a main road in Colombo; two suspects were arrested and interrogated in this case and, according to the police progress report forwarded in August 2008, were subsequently released on bail; arrest warrants have been issued for two other persons suspected of having aided and abetted the commission of the murder,

Recalling further that the police progress report forwarded in April 2009 reiterates essentially the information provided in August 2008, namely that two main suspects and two other suspected accomplices were identified; according to the report they are strongly suspected of having gone to the areas then controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE); considering that the same information is contained in the progress report forwarded by the Sri Lankan delegation to the 121st IPU Assembly; noting that, according to Mr. Samarasinghe, the case will be called again in court on 20 January 2010,

Considering that the above report mentions that a team from Scotland Yard which arrived in Sri Lanka on 4 January 2007 conducted investigations and recommended that further tests be carried out; noting also that the report mentions President Rajapakse’s request to include the case of Mr. Raviraj in the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry which he instituted in November 2006, but fails to mention that the Commission has de facto ceased to function and has never investigated the case of Mr. Raviraj,

Recalling that, at the meeting held during the 120th IPU Assembly (April 2009), the Sri Lankan delegation stated that about only 20km2 were still under the control of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army being in control of the rest, and that, in the delegation’s view, this would also make it easier for the authorities to apprehend suspects who have fled to LTTE-controlled areas; noting that the Sri Lankan army defeated the LTTE and is now in control of the entire State territory and that Mr. Samarasinghe also expressed the view that this would make it easier to apprehend the suspects in this case; that he undertook to check the identity of the suspects against the names of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the camps,

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

  2. Deeply regrets that no further progress has been made in this case, which has thus remained unpunished; regrets in particular that there is no indication in the latest progress report of any investigative action taken and that reference is made to the work of the Commission of Inquiry, which has never investigated this case;

  3. Would appreciate being kept informed of the efforts made to establish the truth in this case, in particular the outcome of the court hearing scheduled for 20 January 2010, and wishes to ascertain in this respect whether the tests recommended by Scotland Yard were indeed conducted; also reiterates its wish to know the identity of the persons at present suspected of involvement in the crime and whether or not the investigative authorities have ever taken account of the information and evidence gathered by non-governmental organizations, in particular University Teachers for Human Rights, regarding the murder of Mr. Raviraj;

  4. 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;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the authorities, inviting them once again to provide the requested information;

  6. 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).
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