Ensure end of violence before talks - NPC

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 January 2006, 07:42 GMT]
National Peace Council (NPC), a Colombo based Peace Group, in a press release issued on Thursday urged the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers to ensure that the present violence is ended. "It is only then that the decision to negotiate will become meaningful and a change of strategy will be demonstrated," the organisation said.

Full text of the NPC release follows:

The announcement that peace talks on implementing the Ceasefire Agreement between the government and LTTE are to take place in Geneva in February comes as a welcome relief in the context of the mounting violence and daily killings. The agreement that Geneva will be the mutually accepted venue is an indication that both the government and LTTE have been willing to be accommodative to each other in the interests of recommencing the peace process.

The National Peace Council believes that the peopleís desire for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and their rejection of violence was the source of strength to the government and LTTE leaderships in arriving at this mutual accommodation. The important role played by the international community is supporting the peace process has also been manifested by the fact that this breakthrough took place during the visit of Norwegian peace envoy, Erik Solheim.

While getting back to the negotiating table is but a small step in the long and arduous road to a resolution of the countryís ethnic conflict, it provides the foundation for a peaceful search for peace through dialogue and international facilitation. We call on the parties and facilitator to ensure a wider representation in the dialogue for peace, so that all sectors of the people are made partners in the revival of the peace process.

However, marring the good news of peace talks in the near future are the continuing incidents of violence and loss of life. As a follow up to their agreement to talk peace in Geneva, and as a confidence building measure that would prepare the ground for those talks, we call on the government and LTTE to ensure that the present violence is ended. It is only then that the decision to negotiate will become meaningful and a change of strategy will be demonstrated.


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