When will the LTTE return?

The European Parliament,

- Having regard to the armed conflict which has raged in Sri Lanka since 1983 and which has resulted in over 60,000 deaths and the displacement and displacement of more than 800,000 people,

- having regard to its previous resolutions of 18 May 2000 (1), 14 March 2002 (2) and 20 November 2003 (3) on Sri Lanka and its resolution of 13 January 2005 (4) on European Union aid after the tsunami disaster,

- Having regard to the Oslo Declaration of December 2002, in which the government of Sri Lanka and the organization "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam" (LTTE) agreed to work towards a federal solution within a united Sri Lanka,

- Having regard to the Tokyo Declaration of 10 June 2003 on the reconstruction and development of Sri Lanka, in which aid from donor countries was linked to progress in the peace process and to compliance with the government ceasefire agreement which entered into force on 23 February 2002 By Sri Lanka and the LTTE, emphasis was placed on the participation of the Muslim minority in the talks, the promotion and protection of human rights, gender equality and progress towards a final political solution,

- Having regard to the support from the European Union and the international community in response to the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004,

- based on Rule 115 (5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas more than 60,000 people have lost their lives, over 800,000 have fled or were displaced in the conflict in Sri Lanka, and the island's growth and economic development has suffered, causing many people in Sri Lanka, whose lives were destroyed by the tsunami and who are now suffering from renewed outbreaks of violence, led to dire living conditions,

B. whereas countless attacks have occurred in the Jaffna Peninsula, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, with officially recorded ceasefire violations in the thousands, most of which are attributable to the LTTE,

C. whereas tension was deliberately fueled by the attempted murder of Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Army of Sri Lanka on April 25, 2006, the killings of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in August 2005 and on Member of Parliament Joseph Pararajasingha in December 2005 and the attack on the District Monitoring Mission for Sri Lanka (SLMM) office in Batticaloa on January 13, 2006 in a deliberate attempt to undermine the ceasefire agreement,

D. whereas on May 11, 2006, the LTTE attacked a ship flying the SLMM flag, which included 710 unarmed security forces returning to work after home leave who had the SLMM on board and which was accompanied by gunboats of the fleet, one of which was sunk and 18 members of the crew were killed,

E. whereas over 300 people were killed in attacks and violent attacks in Sri Lanka this year,

F. whereas international observers say the recent wave of violence poses the most serious threat to the Norwegian-brokered 2002 ceasefire, which has been previously characterized by a large number of reported violations, including armed ambushes, kidnappings, threats, murders, Torture and recruitment of children as soldiers had been weakened,

G. whereas after the first round of negotiations in Geneva in February 2006, the peace talks were suspended indefinitely after the LTTE withdrew again from a second round of talks in April 2006, thereby jeopardizing the opportunity for progress at the political level,

H. whereas the resumption of the peace process should seek to involve a large number of Sri Lankan communities and political organizations, including representatives of Northern Muslims,

I. whereas human rights organizations have not had the opportunity to efficiently investigate human rights violations and the SLMM does not have the mandate to investigate such violations independently,

1. Warmly welcomes the initiative by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to return to the negotiating table in February 2006 and therefore condemns the LTTE's unilateral refusal to participate in the second round of negotiations in Geneva, which was scheduled for April 2006;

2. Urges the LTTE to immediately resume peace negotiations with the Government of Sri Lanka, prepare to surrender their weapons and create the conditions for a final political solution to the conflict;

3. Strongly condemns the renewed series of attacks by the LTTE and the large number of human rights violations on both sides and the ongoing violations of the ceasefire agreement;

4. Deplores the serious violations of the ceasefire agreement by the LTTE through operations at sea, in particular the attack on the Sri Lankan naval forces on May 11, 2006, in which many people were killed and SLMM observers were in great danger;

5. Calls on the parties to the ceasefire agreement to ensure the security of the SLMM, which is an unarmed organization that has been asked by both the government and the LTTE to monitor the ceasefire agreement so that it can fulfill its mandate, and commends it the participating countries - Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - for their invaluable work;

6. Calls on both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government to refrain from any further action that could undermine the peace process, including attacks on the civilian population;

7. Condemns the outrageous abuse of children through their recruitment as child soldiers, which is a war crime, and calls on all rebel groups, including the LTTE, to end this practice, to release the children already in their service and to issue a policy statement, not to recruit children as soldiers in the future; calls on the Sri Lankan government to take legal action to prevent and criminalize this practice;

8. Notes that the LTTE does not represent all the Tamil peoples of Sri Lanka and calls on the LTTE to allow political pluralism and other democratic opinions in the north and east of Sri Lanka in order to serve the interests of all peoples and communities to become;

9. Strongly condemns the targeted suppression of the Tamil language press and Tamil organizations and calls for a thorough investigation into the murders of Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan and Dharmeratnam Sivaram and the two employees of the Uthayan newspaper;

10. Notes that Sri Lanka's recent election as a member of the UN Human Rights Council represents an obligation for the government to demonstrate its commitment to the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights;

11. Welcomes therefore the announcement of new members of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission and stresses that efficient independent investigations into all known cases of human rights violations by security forces or armed groups must be carried out and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice in accordance with international rules on fair trials; insists that all parties should sign comprehensive human rights agreements as a key element for future peace negotiations;

12. Calls on both sides, as an immediate gesture of goodwill, to end the use of anti-personnel mines and to assist in their removal, to which end the Government of Sri Lanka should lead by example by adopting the 1997 Ottawa Convention signed the prohibition on the use, storage, manufacture and transfer of anti-personnel mines and their destruction, and the LTTE should sign the Geneva appeal "Deed of Commitment";

13. Is concerned that an agreement on the distribution of international aid has not yet been implemented; Believes that aid from the European Union and other international donor countries and organizations after the tsunami must go to the victims of this disaster regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation; is concerned, however, about the distribution and use of tsunami funds, which are not having the expected impact on the daily lives of victims and on Sri Lanka's reconstruction; Notes that political obstacles to the Post-Tsunami Operations Management Structure have already delayed the release of a further EUR 50 million in aid, preventing reconstruction work in the north and east of Sri Lanka;

14. Regrets that heavy defense spending has for many years diverted funds from much needed investments in economic and social infrastructure in Sri Lanka;

15. Calls on the Member States to do everything in their power to prevent all illegal attempts by the LTTE to maintain a system of compulsory levies on parts of the Tamil community living in the European Union;

16. Calls on the Commission and Member States, as part of this process, to follow the example of other countries and freeze assets in bank accounts, firms, corporations and companies in the Member States associated with the LTTE;

17. Notes that the European Union has stated that LTTE delegations will not be received in any Member State until further notice and that the European Union is seriously considering the LTTE's formal classification as a terrorist organization;

18. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to continue working towards a just and sustainable solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka and expresses its support for the entire people of Sri Lanka and their President Mahinda Rajapakse in their joint efforts to address this issue face challenges that lie within them;

19. Instructs its President to present this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the other members of the Sri Lanka Donor Co-Chairs Group (Norway, USA and Japan), the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the governments of Switzerland, Sri Lanka and the other countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the LTTE.

(1) OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 278.
(2) OJ C 47 E, 27.2.2003, p. 613.
(3) OJ C 87 E, 7.4.2004, p. 527.
(4) OJ C 247 E, 6.10.2005, p. 147.