EU pressures Sri Lanka on rights abuses, Govt says only reacting to terror

Sept 04, 2007 (LBO) – The European Union has told Sri Lanka to ensure there are no more human rights abuses while the government has said its recent military actions were only to defend against Tamil Tiger terrorism. EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner has told Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama the EU is keen to ensure peace returns to the island.

According to a ministry statement, she said in talks with Bogollagama that the EU hoped that in addition to dealing with past alleged human rights abuses, “Sri Lanka should also ensure that action is taken to prevent any further incidents.”

The comments came in talks held at the European Commission in Brussels on Monday.

Ferrero-Waldner had expressed concern whether the government was seeking to pursue a military solution, following its recent military success in the Eastern Province, the statement said.

“Earlier, the Commissioner had emphasized that the EU strongly condemned terrorism and the actions of the LTTE, and that the listing of the LTTE as a terrorist organization within the EU, amplified that position.”

Foreign Minister Bogollagama told the EU that the government “has a ro