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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. 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/187/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 186th session (April 2010); 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),

Recalling that Mr. Raviraj, a member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), 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; the gunman escaped on a motorcycle,

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 the following information provided in the past by the authorities about the investigation into the murder:

  • Investigations revealed that the motorcycle was sold by two brokers named Nalaka Matagaweere and Ravindra to one Arul, who at the time was living at S.K.T. Jayasuriya’s house; the latter was taken into custody together with Nalaka; Jayasuriya revealed that Arul was a former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) member; Nalaka and Jayasuriya were later released on bail as inquiries revealed that they were not in Colombo when Mr. Raviraj was shot dead; arrest warrants were issued for Arul and Ravindra, who, according to the police progress report forwarded in April 2009, were strongly suspected of having gone to the areas then controlled by the LTTE;

  • A team from Scotland Yard arrived in Sri Lanka on 4 January 2007; it conducted investigations and recommended that further tests be carried out; according to the police report of March 2010, no real breakthrough was possible and investigations are continuing; the case was due to be called on 26 May 2010 before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court,
Noting that, according to the Sri Lankan delegation, there was no new information regarding the investigation, which was continuing and was periodically being reported on to the court, the next time on 24 November 2010; the Sri Lankan delegation also stated that the authorities remained committed to fully elucidating this crime,

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 nevertheless deeply disappointed that, four years after this murder in broad daylight, the authorities' stated commitment to advancing the course of justice stands in stark contrast with the fact that the investigation remains at a standstill even though the Government of Sri Lanka established control over the entire country more than a year ago, which should have enabled it to make at least some progress;

  3. Urges the authorities once again to take firm action, including Parliament through its oversight function, to ensure that those responsible for Mr. Raviraj's assassination are apprehended and brought to justice; calls on the authorities to conduct, if they have not already done so, the tests recommended by Scotland Yard and to explore whether Scotland Yard can be of assistance elsewhere to the investigative authorities in this case; also reiterates its wish to know whether 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. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the competent governmental authorities, inviting them to provide the requested information and to keep it informed of developments in the investigation; also requests the Secretary General to inform the source of the resolution;

  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 124th IPU Assembly (April 2010).
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