EU refrains from welcoming LLRC, calls for UN Commission
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 February 2012, 03:04 GMT]
The European Parliament on Thursday, among its resolution specifying its position on UN Human Rights Council's 19th session to be convened in Geneva this month, resolved on Sri Lanka that it “[s]tresses the need to further support efforts to strengthen the accountability process in Sri Lanka and continue to call for the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry into all crimes committed, as recommended by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka; invites the Sri Lankan Government to send an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” The maneuverings of Sri Lanka supporters to replace the call for UN commission with a note welcoming LLRC were defeated by the members of Labour and Left parties (GUE and S&D).
The Sri Lanka-backers, who were mainly from the right wing and right center parties, which included the major group in the parliment, European People's Party (EPP) and European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) have pressed for an amendment to do away with the call for international investigation and to welcome Sri Lanka's LLRC.
The following is the amendment texts presented by EPP and ECR:
“Calls for support efforts to strengthen the accountability process in Sri Lanka to be furthered, as recommended by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka, and welcomes the Sri Lankan Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Committee’s recent report; calls on the Sri Lankan Government rapidly to implement the report’s recommendations, and in particular to address concerns regarding human rights violations;”
It was however defeated.
Richard Howitt of the S&D Group and Paul Murphy of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) Group played significant role in defeating the amendment, informed sources said.
The EU position significantly differs from the stand of the USA that has dropped the call for international investigation and instead welcomes the LLRC.
However, the stand that would be taken by the UK may go contrary to the EU resolution, as different signals come from the British Foreign Office, the informed sources further said.
While thanking the progressive shade of members in the EU Parliament for the resolution, the Eezham Tamils are concerned that their core issues as a nation facing structural genocide are yet to find reference in the supranational body of EU parliament or in other international forums.