European Parliament deplores SL President’s actions

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 November 2003, 16:07 GMT]
The European Parliament (EP), in a resolution co-sponsored by all political groups in the body and unanimously approved on Thursday, said that the decision made by Sri Lanka’s President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, at the beginning of November to sack three ministers and prorogue parliament while the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremansinghe, was outside the country, represented “a threat to the peace process” and showed “the need, more than ever, for a real bipartisan commitment and approach to securing a political settlement in Sri Lanka between the major parties.”

The Irish member of the European Parliament and former Chief Observer for the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Sri Lanka in 2000 and 2001, Mr. John Cushnahan, proposed the resolution.

He said that there was “universal good will and support” when Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the LTTE took “brave” steps in launching a peace process to end the “terrible conflict in which 65 000 people have lost their lives, many thousands have been maimed, and untold harm was inflicted on the economy and indeed the quality of life of the Sri Lankan people.”

“It is therefore tragic that a constitutional crisis has occurred between the President and the Prime Minister, threatening to derail the peace process,” said Mr. Cushnahan, adding that he deeply regretted the actions of the President. “I would appeal to her to pause and reflect on the consequences.”

The EP’s resolution said that expectations remain high that an end to military conflict could improve the problematic human rights situation in Sri Lanka, which was documented again in the fourth periodic report on Sri Lanka by the UN Commission on Human Rights.


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