De-merger issue raises lot of questions - Richard Boucher

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 October 2006, 11:49 GMT]
Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs, when responding to a question at a press conference at the Galle Face Hotel Friday said that the timing of the "unfortunate" issue of NorthEast de-merger in Sri Lankan politics, raised lot of questions, right before the next round of talks, noting that the Sri Lankans were facing a critical moment and it was time to move forward and reverse the negative momentum.

Mr. Richard Boucher also said: "hostilities must cease and both sides need to exercise maximum restraint."

Richard Boucher
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher. (Photo:AFP)
"We are pleased that the government and the LTTE are committed to peace talks to go to Geneva and to begin discussions again."

"We think it is important to discuss all the issues. It is also important to begin a process that can lead to a serious negotiation, and eventually, to a political solution with legitimate interest of all the communities: of Tamils, Muslims of Sinhalese," Mr. Richard Boucher told the press.

"It can be accommodated with a unitary Sri Lanka."

The recent "terrorist attacks," particularly the ones in Habarana, and Galle, demonstrate once again that violence can lead nowhere, he added.

The US Assistant Secretary also said steps must be taken to improve the respect for Human Rights and there was a need to see an investigation of the abuses that have been reported.

US was working among the Co-Chairs and also with the Government of Sri Lanka on the appointment of an International Human Rights Commission.

He added that important work is done by the non-governmental organizations and both sides need to help facilitate that work as some of these humanitarian organizations have faced a variety of obstacles in trying to carry out that work.


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