Press release from GUI/NGL
Joining calls for a genuinely independent and impartial inquiry into massive human rights abuses committed during the recent war in Sri Lanka, GUE/NGL MEP Paul Murphy pledged the backing of the group to efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice at a conference on Sri Lanka today in the European Parliament.
“The reconciliation committee set up by the government following the war was a sham and nothing but an attempt to whitewash gross humanitarian abuses committed against Tamil-speaking people. There is no prospect for lasting peace on the basis of the regime currently in power in Sri Lanka. Any true enquiry must include all sections of society, including the trade unions and through committees democratically elected by the people effected and must take account of a context of decades of systematic oppression of Tamil-speaking people and attacks on their human, economic and social rights.”
Murphy encouraged the activists present to take inspiration from the Arab spring as an example of “the power of ordinary people to achieve change even in the context of extraordinary oppression” and looked forward to a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka later in the year.
International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign, T.U. Senan, reiterated his organisation and the conference’s outright opposition to the atrocities perpetrated and continually carried out by the Sri Lankan government. He issued a call for the immediate closure of detention camps that hold over 100,000 prisoners. “The voice of the oppressed must be heard and the UN Expert Panel report on Sri Lanka did not go far enough in recognising the crimes committed and the inability of the justice system to deliver.”
Chair of parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee, Heidi Hautala MEP, also addressed the hearing, the concluding resolution from which will be posted on www.guengl.eu .