Right to self-determination, Equal rights, key to solution, Bishop tells Boucher
[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 May 2007, 11:07 GMT]
The Bishop of Jaffna, Rt.Rev. Dr. Thomas
Savundranayagam, after meeting Ambassador Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Affairs, accompanied by US Ambassador in Colombo Robert O' Blake, Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m at the Jaffna Public Library, called upon the foreign countries to help find a solution to the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka. In a communiqué issued to the media Wednesday night, the Bishop pointed the out that the recent peace package proposed by Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) does not meet any of the reasonable aspiration of Tamils.
Excerpts from the communiqué follow:
Ambassador Robert O'Blake and Ambassador Richard Boucher
Intervention by foreign Governments is urgently needed to find a solution to the ethnic crisis, since a permanent justifiable solution cannot be excepted from a government controlled by Sinhala majority.
The American Government should exert pressure upon the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to take necessary action to enable power sharing with Tamils and Muslims for them live under a Federal structure in the traditional home land of Tamils in the merged North and East. The minorities must be made to feel that they are citizens having equal rights and should be given the right of self-determination.
Ambassador Boucher receives a petition from Ms Ranganathan Visaladchy Ammai, whose son Ranjan disappeared in February this year.
Today you have met a number of delegations and learnt of the human rights violations, travel and economic hardships, shortage of food, threats made to the media and other difficulties faced by Jaffna residents. However, we wish to state something quite different.
The main reason for the failure to implement the decisions and resolutions reached during the series of peace talks held within the past five years was due the inability of the Co-Chairs denied of executive powers to take any constructive action,” the communiqué concluded.
Hundreds of Sri Lanka Armed forces were stationed in Jaffna town to provide security to the visiting US diplomats.
Ambassador Richard Boucher and Bishop Rt.Rev.Thomas Savundaranayagam