US, UK welcome Tamil Federal solution
[TamilNet, Friday, 06 December 2002, 16:17 GMT]
The United States and United Kingdom Thursday applauded the agreement reached
between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to work towards a Federal model.
The historic breakthrough was made at the third round of peace talks held in Oslo
"The United States regards as extremely positive the announcement that the two sides
have made progress in discussing political issues by agreeing to work to establish a
federal structure within a united Sri Lanka," said a statement by US State
Department Deputy Spokesman. Philip T. Reeker
"We salute both sides and the Norwegian government for moving the peace process
forward and welcome further progress toward a negotiated settlement based on the
principles of democracy and respect for human rights, while maintaining the
country's territorial integrity," the press statement said. "As we have said
before, we hope that the outcome of negotiations will pay due regard to the security
and well-being of all communities."
The UK also applauded the agreement, which will explore a solution to the long
running ethnic conflict encompassing Tamil aspirations for internal
"I warmly welcome the significant progress made during the latest round of peace
talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. The two sides agreed to
explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination for the
Tamil people, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka," said Foreign
Office Minister Mike O'Brien. "It is important that the two sides have undertaken to
address human rights, including the priorities and needs of women in the peace
process, and the situation of children affected by armed conflict."
"I continue to applaud the commitment and will of the two parties to work together.
There is still a lot of work to do. But I am encouraged that the progress being made
will lead towards a solution that meets the aspirations of all communities of Sri
Lanka," Mr O'Brien said.
On November 25, Britain's International Development Secretary, Clare Short,
announced an additional £8 million for the Sri Lankan peace process in 2003. This
was in addition to the £2.6 million already committed this year to quick impact
projects and £6.8 million for longstanding programmes to assist internally displaced