Co-chairs call for immediate cessation of hostilities, international investigation

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 August 2006, 06:49 GMT]
The Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference for Sri Lanka Peace Process, the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Norway, Saturday called on the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to cease hostilities immediately and return to the negotiation table. The statement has called for independant, international investigations of serious human rights abuses, including the massacre of 16 Tamil and a Muslim NGO workers of the French NGO Action Faim and the alleged killing of Muslims. "Both parties should take immediate action to allow relief agencies to assist victims from all three ethnic groups and to grant access to disputed areas."

Full text of the press release issued by the US Embassay in Colombo Saturday follows:

Sri Lanka Co-Chairs Call For Immediate Cessation of Hostilities

The Co-Chairs -- the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Norway -- are deeply concerned by the continued violence which is seriously unraveling the ceasefire agreement and peace process in Sri Lanka.

The Co-Chairs call on the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to cease hostilities immediately and return to the negotiation table. Both parties should make the utmost effort to prevent a further escalation of violence and loss of life. Violence is not the way to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The suffering inflicted on innocent civilians is intolerable. The Co-Chairs remain fully committed to supporting the peace process and the valuable work of the Norwegian facilitator. The personnel of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission in particular must be supported and their security guaranteed.

The Co-Chairs are seriously concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis. Several tens of thousands of people have already been forced to leave their homes in the Trincomalee district, adding to the already high number of internally displaced people in Sri Lanka. Both parties should take immediate action to allow relief agencies to assist victims from all three ethnic groups and to grant access to disputed areas. This is a matter of priority to avoid a humanitarian disaster.

We call for independent, international investigations of allegations of serious human rights abuses, including the murder of 17 Sri Lankans working for a French NGO and the alleged killing of 100 Muslims.

The Co-Chairs plan to meet soon to fully assess the situation and discuss appropriate actions.

 

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