French Ambassador asked to continue international pressure on government
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 October 1999, 14:19 GMT]
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament of the Batticaloa district, has told the visiting French Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives, that the international community should exert pressure on the government to withdraw the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations, which contribute largely to the violation of the human rights in the country.
Mrs. Elizabeth Daham, French Ambassador met Mr. Pararajasingham on Monday during her fact-finding mission to Batticaloa.
Referring to the human rights situation, Mr. Pararajasingham said that compared to the past, the human rights violations in the Batticaloa district have decreased and this was due to the pressure exerted by the international community and not due to the government's actions.
He said that he could not say that there was considerable decrease in the north-east province in this sphere.
Mr. Pararajasingham brought to her notice that the major political parties on the island would not come to an understanding regarding the question of finding an amicable political solution to the ethnic problem.
He added that the Sinhalese people and their political parties were not prepared to consider a reasonable solution, satisfying the aspirations of the minorities. This had been amply proved by the vehement opposition to the Equal Opportunities Bill formulated by the government.
Mr. Pararajasingham appealed that the countries like France could play a role to pressure the Sri Lankan government to go for third party mediation to settle the ethnic problem. He expressed confidence that only a third party could lead to a settlement of the ethnic problem.
He made an appeal to the French Ambassador to take steps not to send back those Sri Lankan Tamils who have sought refuge in the European countries until a lasting political solution to the ethnic problem in the island is found.
The French Ambassador during her visit to Batticaloa met the Bishop Rt. Rev Dr. Kingsley Swampillai, Government Agent, A. K. Pathmanathan and officials of the Citizens' Committee. Later she inspected the Fresh-water Fish Farm constructed with the financial aid from France, at Vaakarai.