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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. Kiddinan Sivanesan, a member of parliament for Jaffna belonging to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), killed in a Claymore mine attack on 6 March 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 carried out by the Committee 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 the following: at the parliamentary session of 21 February 2008, which the Committee's delegation to Colombo attended, Mr. Sivanesan raised a privilege issue regarding the fact that he had been intimidated by the "threatening deployment of dogs" by the security personnel who checked his vehicle at Madawachi while he was on his way to Colombo on Monday that week; he was killed some two weeks later, on 6 March 2008, in a Claymore mine attack shortly after he had crossed into the Vanni region; his vehicle was targeted when he was returning to his residence in Mallawi after attending parliamentary sessions in Colombo; the attackers reportedly detonated four mines in a row; Mr. Sivanesan's driver was killed instantly and Mr. Sivanesan died of his injuries while being rushed to hospital; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) claimed that the killing was the work of deep penetration units of the Sri Lankan military, an allegation denied by the military, who have blamed it on the LTTE; the police report of March 2010 reiterates the position of the police authorities, namely that the area where the attack occurred was controlled by the LTTE at the time, that the police had no access to conduct investigations and that no complaint has been lodged with the police, possibly out of fear of reprisal by the LTTE,

Noting that, according to the Sri Lankan delegation, the authorities were unable to pursue an investigation in this case because no material or complaint had been submitted to the police; the delegation also stated that the authorities remained committed to fully elucidating this crime,

Bearing in mind finally that, since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), presidential elections were held in January 2010 and President Rajapakse was re-elected; 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 shocked that the authorities continue to invoke the absence of a complaint as an excuse for the lack of any serious investigation, even though they themselves have acknowledged that such absence may be justified; strongly believes that the fact that the area where Mr. Sivanesan was killed has now been under government control for over a year should have allowed the authorities to make at least some progress in elucidating his killing;

  3. Urges the Sri Lankan authorities, as is their duty, to make every effort to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished; recalls that impunity is among the most serious human rights violations as it deprives the victims and their families of their right to justice, and considers therefore that fighting impunity and restoring the rule of law in countries which, like Sri Lanka, have come out of a civil war should be among the priorities of the authorities;

  4. Wishes to ascertain what steps are taken in the pursuit of justice in this case, including by the Parliament through its oversight function;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities, and competent governmental authorities, insisting on the necessity of opening an investigation into the killing of Mr. Sivanesan in order to prevent impunity in this case; requests him further to convey this resolution to the source;

  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 124th IPU Assembly (April 2011).
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