Greater inclusivity can revive peace process- NPC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 August 2004, 09:16 GMT]
The National Peace Council, in a press release issued in Colombo Tuesday said that killings during ceasefire are "totally unacceptable," and that a bipartisan approach is necessary to take the peace process forward to arrive at a "mutually agreed negotiated political solution."

Full text of the press release follows:

"The difficulties that the government and LTTE are having in restarting the peace negotiations, together with the rising death toll due to targeted killings, are posing a major threat to the stability of the peace process. It needs to be recognised that killings due to the ethnic conflict, including internecine ones, are not a new phenomenon. However, the killings, which are taking place in a period of mutually agreed ceasefire, are totally unacceptable.

The experience during the past two decades shows that public demonstrations, statements and poster campaigns condemning these killings are not, by themselves, sufficient to bring them to a halt. The National Peace Council believes that the most effective method to bring about a human rights respecting and violence free society would to be take the peace process forward in a manner that would culminate in a mutually agreed negotiated political solution.

In this light, we see the decision of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to give up the leadership of the ruling UPFA, and the need for assured parliamentary support to take forward the peace process, as providing an unparalleled opportunity for a bipartisan approach to the peace process. One of the major weaknesses in the peace process has been the absence of bipartisan political support for it. Bipartisanship is an essential component of a stable and successful peace process as it will ensure the consolidated support of the majority of people for the political settlement that will emerge.

We note that in South Africa the peace process commenced with negotiations between the top leadership of the government and ANC. Thereafter the peace process was widened and conscious efforts were made to ensure the participation of all parties in the interim phase in a consociational form of power sharing interim government.

The National Peace Council believes that in Sri Lanka as well, the next phase of the peace process requires a conscious effort to widen participation."

 

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