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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 190th session
(Kampala, 5 April 2012)

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, and to the resolution adopted at its 189th session (October 2011); referring also to the report of the on-site mission to Sri Lanka carried out by the Committee in February 2008 (CL/183/12(b)-R.2),

Taking into account the information that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka for Human Rights, provided to the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians at the hearing held during the 126th IPU Assembly (April 2012); also taking into account the information which the source provided during a hearing on 31 March 2012,

Recalling the following information on file:

  • The source has from the outset emphasized that Mr. Maheswaran voted against the budget on 14 December 2007 and that, soon after the vote, the number of security guards assigned to him was cut from 18 to two; Mr. Maheswaran had openly made several statements to the effect that the reduction of his security detail put his life seriously at risk and had repeatedly requested the Government to enhance his security, but to no avail; on 1 January 2008, he was shot while attending a religious ceremony in a Hindu temple in Colombo and later died in a Colombo hospital; the source has stated that the attack came after Mr. Maheswaran had said in a television interview that, when parliamentary sittings resumed 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;

  • The authorities arrested Johnson Collin Valentino alias "Wasantha", from Jaffna, who had been identified as the gunman on the basis of a DNA analysis; the investigators concluded that the assailant was a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activist who had been trained and sent to Colombo to kill Mr. Maheswaran; Mr. Valentino confessed to the crime;

  • According to the information provided by Minister Samarasinghe in April 2011, the Attorney General had served an indictment on Mr. Valentino and the case was proceeding before the High Court of Colombo, Court No. 02; further witness and forensic evidence had confirmed the assassin’s complicity,
Considering that, according to the information provided by Minister Samarasinghe at the hearing held during the 126th Assembly, a further hearing has been scheduled for 19 April 2012, butthat Mrs. Vijayakala Maheswaran, one of the sources, the wife of the murdered parliamentarian and herself a member of parliament, thinks that the authorities are not taking proper action in the case and has complained about this to the Speaker and in the plenary of Parliament,
  1. Thanks Minister Samarasinghe for his cooperation;

  2. Is concerned that, four years after the alleged assassin was arrested and confessed, no progress has apparently been made to identify those behind this crime and their motives;

  3. Trusts that the authorities are doing everything they can fully to elucidate and establish accountability for the murder, and notes that earlier concerns that the crime may be related to Mr. Maheswaran’s criticism of the Government can only be dispelled once full light has been shed on the murder;

  4. Wishes to ascertain whether Parliament has taken any action following the concerns raised by Mrs. Maheswaran regarding the investigation into her husband’s murder;

  5. Recalls in this regard that Parliament, in the exercise of its oversight function, is entitled to follow an investigation, especially when it concerns a member; wishes, therefore, to ascertain the views of Parliament on taking such an initiative;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Speaker of Parliament and to Minister Samarasinghe, inviting them to provide the requested information and to keep the Committee informed of the proceedings;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report to it at its next session, to be held during the 127th IPU Assembly (October 2012).
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