EU/Sri Lanka

Coun­cil Con­clu­sions on SRI LANKA
2925th GE ERAL AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing
Brus­sels, 23 Feb­ru­ary 2009
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:

  1. ” The EU has been fol­low­ing close­ly devel­op­ments in Sri Lan­ka. The EU is deeply con­cerned about the evolv­ing human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis and vast num­ber of Inter­nal­ly Dis­placed Peo­ple (IDPs) trapped by the fight­ing in north­ern Sri Lan­ka, as well as the con­tin­u­ing reports of high civil­ian casu­al­ties. To pre­vent the loss of civil­ian life, the EU stress­es the need for the pro­vi­sions of inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an law and the prin­ci­ples of the laws of war to be respect­ed by par­ties to a con­flict. The EU calls on the Gov­ern­ment of Sri Lan­ka and the LTTE to com­ply with these laws.
  2. The EU calls for an imme­di­ate cease-fire there­by pro­vid­ing for the estab­lish­ment of full and unre­strict­ed access, allow­ing human­i­tar­i­an aid to be safe­ly deliv­ered and allow­ing civil­ians to leave the con­flict area. The EU con­demns the LTTE’s use of vio­lence and intim­i­da­tion to pre­vent civil­ians from leav­ing the con­flict area.
  3. The EU urges the Sri Lankan Gov­ern­ment to ensure that the tem­po­rary camps for IDPs and the screen­ing process for access to them are in com­pli­ance with inter­na­tion­al stan­dards and that inde­pen­dent mon­i­tor­ing be allowed. The UN, the ICRC, and oth­er human­i­tar­i­an orga­ni­za­tions need to have full access to these camps. These above con­di­tions must be met for the EU to be in a posi­tion to pro­vide the required human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance.
  4. he EU remains con­vinced that the long stand­ing con­flict in Sri Lan­ka can­not be resolved by mil­i­tary means. A mil­i­tary defeat of the LTTE will only reem­pha­size the need to find a polit­i­cal solu­tion in order to ensure a last­ing peace. The EU recalls the Co-Chairs State­ment issued on 03/02/09 and reit­er­ates its inten­tion to send a Troi­ka as soon as pos­si­ble.
  5. The EU calls on the LTTE to lay down its arms and to renounce ter­ror­ism and vio­lence once and for all, end the inhu­man use of child sol­diers and forced recruit­ment, and par­tic­i­pate in a polit­i­cal process to achieve a just and last­ing solu­tion. The EU calls on the author­i­ties of Sri Lan­ka to engage in an inclu­sive polit­i­cal process, which address­es the legit­i­mate con­cerns of all com­mu­ni­ties.
  6. The EU remains deeply con­cerned about grave vio­la­tions of human rights, in par­tic­u­lar the cas­es of enforced dis­ap­pear­ances, extra-judi­cial killings as well as harass­ments, intim­i­da­tions, attacks on the media and human rights defend­ers and the cli­mate of impuni­ty. The EU calls on the Sri Lankan author­i­ties to take deci­sive action to tack­le human rights abus­es, to guar­an­tee press free­dom and to dis­arm para­mil­i­tary groups in Gov­ern­ment con­trolled areas. The EU views with con­cern the draft ‘Pro­hi­bi­tion of Forcible Con­ver­sions’ bill.
  7. The EU under­lines the impor­tance of the Sri Lankan author­i­ties to coop­er­ate in the GSP+ inves­ti­ga­tion into the effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion of the Inter­na­tion­al Covenant on Civ­il and Polit­i­cal Rights, the Con­ven­tion against Tor­ture and the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child.”

Source: Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union