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EU, UN, US express concern over SL situation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 November 2003, 21:37 GMT]
The European Union has expressed its concern over the action of Sri Lanka’s President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Tuesday to sack three government ministers and the deployment of troops in Colombo. “The Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission believe that the recent developments in Sri Lanka may put at risk the spirit of cohabitation [between the President and the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers] which has proven vital for the sustained forward momentum of the peace process," the EU said in a statement Tuesday.

A statement from the United Nations said that Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN, is following closely the political developments in Sri Lanka. "He hopes that President Kumaratunga's decisions, which were announced today, including a temporary suspension of parliament, will not have a negative impact on the peace process."

The Secretary-General wishes to reiterate that he continues to support this process, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the United States on Tuesday expressed concern over the impact of the actions of Sri Lanka's President on the peace process.

“We are concerned that these events could have a negative effect on the peace process and talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and we stand firmly behind the government of Sri Lanka in its search for peace after 20 years of bloody conflict," Reuters quoted State Department Spokesman, Mr. Adam Ereli, as saying.

"We urge the president and prime minister to work together, to bolster the peace process and to protect Sri Lanka's democratic institutions," the Spokesman said.

The following is the full text of the joint statement issued by the Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission.

“The Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission have noted with concern the actions this morning in Sri Lanka, including deployment of troops in the capital and the action to bring under the remit of the President the Cabinet portfolios of Defence, of Interior, and of Communications.

“The Peace Process in Sri Lanka has made substantial progress up to now. This momentum has been assured by continued cooperation and commitment of both the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, and by support of ordinary Sri Lankan citizens.

“The spirit of cohabitation, which has prevailed between the Presidency and the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers, has contributed significantly to this positive situation.

“The international community, including the European Union, has shown its strong commitment to this process. Norway is acting as the facilitator to the peace talks and the rest of the international community is providing funds for reconstruction as well as full political support and other measures, such as the monitoring mission.

“The Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission believe that the recent developments in Sri Lanka may put at risk the spirit of cohabitation which has proven vital for the sustained forward momentum of the peace process.

“The Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission urge the two principal parties to continue to work together in support of a negotiated political solution, as envisaged by the peace process. The goals of peace and prosperity that Sri Lanka so much deserves can only be achieved through the continued cooperation and commitment by all the players involved.”

 

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