The European Parliament has today passed a resolution calling for the rapid return of the 250,000 detainees still held in camps in northern Sri Lanka following the defeat of the LTTE by the government earlier this year.
MEPs also called on the Sri Lankan government to urgently deliver humanitarian assistance to the Tamil civilians held in the camps, where there are serious concerns over living conditions, including overcrowding and inadequate access to clean water, sanitation and medical facilities.
Humanitarian and human rights organisations claim that the Government has denied adequate access to the camps, where citizens are being screened before resettlement.
Jean Lambert MEP, Chair of the South Asia Delegation in the European Parliament, commented:
“It is deeply worrying that so many people are still being held in these camps. The Sri Lankan government must now take every necessary step to return home those detained as quickly as possible and ensure that humanitarian agencies are able to deliver assistance.
“Press freedom has severely suffered during the years of conflict and it is now imperative that the media is able to operate without the fear of violent repercussions and intimidation.
“The people of Sri Lanka deserve lasting peace and freedom, now that this 25 year battle has finally come to an end. The European Parliament therefore calls on all sides to work towards a lasting, peaceful settlement based on democracy and respect for human rights.”
Notes to Editors
The full text of the resolution will soon be available here http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/plenary/ta.do?language=EN