German Bundestag passed a resolution on Sri Lanka (Updated)

From our correspondent Lalith Ganhewa in Germany

(May 14, Berlin, Sri Lanka Guardian)(Mai 14, Berlin, Sri Lanka Guardian) Political parties in the Bundestag (the German Parliament) passed a resolution on the “Humanitarian Crisis in Sri Lanka” during their afternoon session on the 7th of May in Berlin. It says that the Federal Republic of Germany demands and stands up for an immediate ceasefire between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The German ruling coalition parties CDU & SPD (Christian Democrats & Social Democrats), the opposition FDP (Liberals), the Leftist and the Green Party voted unitedly for the 14 points request.

The Bundestag strongly urged both conflicting parties in Sri Lanka to fulfill the rules of the Humanitarian International Law, and by exercising this to guarantee the protection of the civil population.

The resolution application was brought up by the Green party of Germany.

Furthermore, the resolution says that the Government of Sri Lanka must be forcebly pushed to cooperate with countries and organisations which are ready to participate in the evacuation of civil people from the fighting areas. It goes on saying, the initiative for this resolution is to tell the Government in Colombo “unmistakably” that they must uphold the minimum international standards in the IDP camps.

The German Government states these standards are access to basic supply of medical and hygienic conditions. Also, a guarantee of safe return to their home regions in due time.

The resolution demands furthermore from the Government of Sri Lanka to use methods in accordance with the constitution in the treatment of victims who are suspected to be LTTE cadres. In addition, the German Parliament extended their demand to those countries who supply weapons to the Government of Sri Lanka and also to the LTTE rebels, to stop these arms deals.

Speaker in the Bundestag were parliamentarians Johannes Jung( SPD), Harald Leibrecht (FDP), Jürgen Klimke (CDU), Michael Leutert (Leftist) and Kerstin Müller (Green Party).

Sri Lanka Guardian’s Office in Berlin learns that shortly before the resolution was tabled, the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Germany, Mr. T.B. Maduwegedara, had been invited by the ruling coalition party SPD for a discussion.

In this meeting they have informed the Ambassador about the resolution that was to be tabled in the Bundestag shortly after this meeting with him. The SPD politicians voiced their opinion that the Sri Lankan Government must stop the fighting immediately. But Ambassador Maduwegedara had pointed out in this conversation, that it was the Government of Sri Lanka who had offered twice a temporary pause to the LTTE, so that civilians could move out from the fighting zone. He had said: ... “Unfortunately the LTTE did not let a single civilian move out from the conflict area”. Furthermore, the Ambassador countered the German view by asking: ......“Why would we have offered a pause twice, if my Government was not concerned about the trapped civilians?" He has continued saying “Please note, that my President has been requesting the LTTE repeatedly to lay down arms and free the civilians”. Then, without a pause, he had asked: “Do you know how many times has the UN requested the LTTE to free the civilians? Has the LTTE responded to any of these requests at all?" Thus Ambassador Mr. Maduwegedara gave the SPD officials present food for thought.

Mr. Maduwegedara has told the SPD politicians, that if the German Government was really keen to help the civilians in the trapped zone and stop the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, they should pressure the LTTE and demand from them publicly to free the civilians held hostage.

The Ambassador had continued saying, while many countries had proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and condemned publicly, including some individual members of the EU, why has the German Government been so silent on the LTTE all this time? “Why is the German Government so shy to call the LTTE a terrorist organisation publicly?" he had asked the SPD politicians.

Sri Lanka Guardian’s German correspondent learns from a source close to the SPD, that the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany has strongly rejected the request of the German politicians to stop the ongoing fight against the LTTE. He had said “No matter what pressure we have to face, no matter what crisis we have to go through, we will not stop this fight to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka”. He further had pointed out : “Please remember, it is us, the Sri Lankans, who have suffered from terrorism for over 25 years, not Germany. On this question, the people of Sri Lanka stand fully behind their President Rajapakse”.

As to the question of LTTE activities on German soil, the Ambassador has raised the question: While the PKK and Al Quida are banned in Germany, why then is the LTTE still not yet listed as a Terrorist Organisation in Germany, although the EU has done this? The SPD politicians have replied that the activities of the LTTE were still under observation due to lack of evidence. They requested the Ambassador to provide the German Government with information to pin down the LTTE in Germany.

To this Mr. Maduwegedara politely had pointed out that it is the responsibility of the German Intelligence Services to find out details about LTTE activities on German soil and bring them to an end. The SPD politicians have told the Ambassador that the German Government has identified the LTTE Front Organisations in Germany and that they were under observation.

Continuing the conversation, Ambassador Maduwegedara had asked the politicians, from where the parliamentary group had collected facts for this planned resolution. The SPD politicians have said, they base on information provided by the German Foreign Office and INGOs working in Sri Lanka. Then the Ambassador had questioned, why they have not considered seeking any information from him or the Sri Lankan Government, before presenting such a resolution. He has also brought to the notice of the German politicians, that it was Germany who has kept away from Sri Lanka with regular bilateral ministerial and other diplomatic visits in the past two years, compared to other countries like Japan, China, France and England who have visited Sri Lanka on a regular basis.

Finally, the Ambassador has informed the SPD Group that soon after the LTTE is crushed militarily; the Government will start a political process of implementing the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution in full.

Parallel to the resolution in the German Bundestag, the humanitarian Organisations “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” and "Crisis Action" called the German Media for a press briefing, that same day Morning in Berlin.

In their invitation to the German Press it said, the situation in northern Sri Lanka is deteriorating dramatically: About 50.000 people are caught in the combat zone between Government forces and LTTE rebels, approximately 186.000 people were able to flee desperately to overcrowded refugee camps. Yesterday, the United Nations appealed to the international community, to give 50 million U.S. dollars emergency assistance. Today, the Bundestag will table a resolution for debate on the situation in Sri Lanka and request to pass it Present at this press meeting were:

Dr. Jürgen Clemens, from Malteser International responsible for Sri Lanka/Asia,

Mr. Christoph Ernesti ( CARE Germany-Luxemburg as an expert on Sri Lanka), Mrs. Marianne Heuwagen ( Human Rights Watch Germany), and Mr Gerhard Serafin, Country Coordinator of Malteser International (per Live-Phone in Colombo).

All INGO-representatives present at the meeting said that they support fully the Bundestag resolution which was to be tabled in the afternoon.

But except for the Sri Lanka Guardian correspondent in Germany, no other media person turned up to this press briefing.

-Sri Lanka Guardian

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Sybil said…
Hail Hitler! Sri Lanka will do as you say!
Asoka said…
It appears these Germans have just walked out of a Concentration camp of the second world ware years. Where were they all this time. haven't they read any thing about what was going on in Sri Lanka for the last six months. Come on Nazis at least now you guys should wake up. This is the 21st century running in a millisecond clock. All what you guys are asking being tried and tested few trillion milliseconds a go. Its too late these operational proposals will not work. Please speak a language the terrorists understand not the double dutch.