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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 187th session
(Geneva, 6 October 2010)

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/187/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 186th session (April 2010); referring also to the report on the mission to Sri Lanka that the Committee carried out in February 2008 (CL/183/12(b)-R.2),

Noting that the Committee met during the 123rd IPU Assembly with the Sri Lankan delegation, including Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries and former Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, who has been mandated to continue following the cases the Committee is examining in Sri Lanka; taking into account the communication, dated 9 June 2010, from the Acting Secretary General of Parliament of Sri Lanka, according to which "the Hon. Speaker and members of the Sri Lanka branch of the IPU would be happy to engage further with the Committee to resolve issues that are outstanding" and that "we will endeavour to expedite police enquiries with regard to the deaths of members of parliament",

Recalling that Mr. Maheswaran voted against the budget on 14 December 2007 and soon after the vote the number of security guards assigned to him was cut from 18 to two; he had openly made several statements 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 later died 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, particularly how abductions and killings were managed,

Recalling that the authorities arrested Johnson Colin Valentirio alias “Wasantha”, from Jaffna, who had been identified as the gunman on the strength of a DNA analysis; the investigators concluded that the assailant was a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activist who had been specifically sent to Colombo to kill Mr. Maheswaran; 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; according to the police report of October 2009, the case was to be called on 16 October 2009 for serving of the indictment and listing of the case for hearing,

Noting that, according to the Sri Lankan delegation, trial proceedings continued before the High Court and included the hearing of a large number of witnesses; the next hearing was scheduled to take place on 6 October 2010,

Bearing in mind that, since the defeat of the LTTE, President Rajapakse was re-elected in January 2010; that he dissolved parliament on 28 March 2010 and that a new parliament was elected on 8 April 2010,

  1. Thanks the Sri Lankan delegation and in particular Minister Samarasinghe for their cooperation and for the information provided;

  2. Is gratified that trial proceedings are well under way; earnestly hopes that they will fully elucidate the murder of Mr. Maheswaran, in particular the identity of the instigators and the motives of the crime;

  3. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities, and to the competent governmental authorities, inviting them to keep it informed of the proceedings, and to convey it to the source;

  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 124th IPU Assembly (April 2011).
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