Commitment to shed political divisions, prerequisite for peace- NPC

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 May 2005, 16:52 GMT]
Commenting on the forthcoming donor forum meeting in Kandy, National Peace Council (NPC), in a press release issued in Colombo Sunday said, "...there is little the donor community could do for us in ensuring recovery from the tsunami, long term sustainable economic growth and a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the absence of internal commitment to shedding political divisions in rebuilding the country for the common good."

Full text of the release follows:

The forthcoming donor forum meeting in Kandy on Monday is an important event or the well being of the country. The donor community has been a source of strength to Sri Lanka in terms of sustaining the economy through both the period of civil war and now of post-tsunami reconstruction. In addition, together with the larger international community, it has been a strong supporter of the peace process that has sought an end to the country's ethnic conflict. Unfortunately, the meeting is taking place in the context of political tensions around the proposed Joint Mechanism between the government and LTTE that would facilitate transparent and accountable disbursement of funds to the areas affected by the tsunami in the north east of the country.

The NPC recognises that to recover from a national tragedy of immense proportions such as the December 2004 Tsunami calls for a national response reinforced by the support of the international community. This was clearly evident during the emergency response phase following the Tsunami. In the months following the disaster, much has been accomplished in providing emergency relief, both through local and international efforts. Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of orchestrated resistance to the Joint Mechanism. This has in part been due to the absence of information made available to the public regarding its operational principles. Despite this failure, there was anticipation nationally and internationally that the government and LTTE would take a decisive step prior to the donor meeting to revive their cooperation in the form of a Joint Mechanism for tsunami assistance to the north east.

We note that the LTTE announced its readiness to agree to the proposal that is currently on the table. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has expressed her commitment to the establishment of a joint mechanism. However, the NPC is concerned that the proposed Joint Mechanism or a clear strategy for the tsunami recovery phase is yet to emerge due to a range of internal political priorities. The immense local and international goodwill that was generated following the Tsunami is being eroded as a result. NPC reiterates that there is little the donor community could do for us in ensuring recovery from the tsunami, long term sustainable economic growth and a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the absence of internal commitment to shedding political divisions in rebuilding the country for the common good.

 

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