Ranil calls for unity to safeguard ceasefire
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 February 2005, 08:31 GMT]
"Parties with vested interest would like to go back to war. But the reality is, this country cannot face another war. We will all be destroyed by the fight", leader of the opposition and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Tuesday said noting that the Ceasefire Agreement, which is entering into the fourth year, "is under threat" and called for unity to safeguard the ceasefire agreement and to achieve a lasting peace in Sri Lanka. Mr. Wickremesinghe has made these observations this morning while making a statement before the electronic media on the third anniversary of entering into ceasefire agreement with the LTTE, which brought to an end the two-decade long war.
Following is his statement in full.
"Three years back in February 2002, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the LTTE and brought the hostilities to an end. Peace talks were initiated as the next step.
"In January 2004, everything was set to recommence peace talks breaking the standstill situation it was experiencing. But unfortunately, the government is yet to resume peace talks from the point we left. Instead, the Ceasefire Agreement and the ceasefire are under threat. Parties with vested interest would like to go back to war. But the reality is, this country cannot face another war. We will all be destroyed by the fight.
"Therefore, let's get together to safeguard the Ceasefire Agreement, and to achieve lasting peace in united Sri Lanka acceptable to all communities. I must thank everyone who in their own way has helped to safeguard the ceasefire and to take forward the idea of political solution acceptable to all. I must specially thank the Norwegian government, the Indian government, the Japanese government, the American government, the European Commission, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Koffi Annan and all other countries and international organizations that have helped us to sustain the ceasefire and are now urging us to find a final solution.
"Let us commit ourselves to a long lasting peace based on a political solution acceptable to all communities where we can all live within a united Sri Lanka," he said.