IPU wants reports on 4 Tamil Lankan MPs killed

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has requested Sri Lanka to reveal the progress of investigations into the deaths of four MPs, at the upcoming 133rd IPU Assembly to be held from 15 to 21 October in Geneva.

Addressing a media briefing at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday Deputy Speaker of the House, Thilanga Sumathipala, said that the Lankan delegation would be submitting a report to the IPU on information gathered by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) concerning the assassinations of Parliamentarians Nadaraja Raviraj, Joseph Pararajasingham, T. Maheshwaran and D.M. Dassanayake.

The Deputy Speaker, along with MP Ranjith Aluvihare, will participate in the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which is scheduled to meet every day from 15 to 21 October, and the cases of Sri Lanka are to be taken up on 16 October at 3:00 p.m.

MPs Anoma Gamage, Ranjith Aluvihare, Bimal Ratnayake and Shanthy Sriskantharajah will also be part of the delegation headed by Deputy Speaker Sumathipala.

MPs Gagame and Sriskantharajah are to represent Sri Lanka at the IPU meeting scheduled to be held on 17 October while MP Bimal Ratnayake will be representing the island at the Forum of Young Parliamentarians to be held on 18 October.

20060127001505201Where have all the assassins gone?

UNP Colombo District MP Thyagaraja Maheswaran being assassinated inside a famous Hindu temple while offering pooja. A week later, Nation Building Minister D.M. Dassanayake fell victim to a claymore attack. On Christmas eve in 2005, TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham was assassinated inside a church in Batticaloa during service, while in 2006, TNA’s Natarajah Raviraj was killed on a public highway within a high security zone in Colombo.

Sadly, three out of the four cited cases have been marred by serious allegations of complicity by the armed forces. The investigations have drawn a blank so far.

Aug 2005: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar shot dead in Colombo
Dec 2005: Pro-rebel MP Joseph Pararajasingham shot dead in Batticaloa church
June 2006: Bomb kills third-highest army officer Maj Gen Parami Kulatunga
Nov 2006: Pro-rebel politician Nadarajah Raviraj shot dead in Colombo
Nov 2007: Air raid kills SP Thamilselvan, head of rebels’ political wing
Jan 2008 Tamil member of parliament, T Maheswaran, shot dead in Colombo
Jan 2008 – Rebels’ intelligence chief Colonel Charles killed in fighting in the north
Jan 2008: DM Dassanayake, minister for nation building, killed by blast near Colombo