U.S. statement: 'we don't advocate talks with LTTE'

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 January 2009, 14:25 GMT]
The United States, a member of the Co-Chairs for the Sri Lankan peace process following the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement brokered by Norway, in a statement issued after the Sri Lanka Army occupation of Ki'inochchi town in Vanni, said it does not advocate the Government of Sri Lanka to negotiate with the LTTE. "The fall of Kilinochchi represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka," the U.S. statement said.

Full text of the statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo follows:

The fall of Kilinochchi represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka. We hope that this event will help hasten an end to the conflict. The U.S. believes that a lasting, sustainable peace can best be achieved if the Sri Lankan Government works now to reach a political solution that addresses the aspirations of all Sri Lankans, including Tamils, Muslims, and Sinhalese.

The United States does not advocate that the Government of Sri Lanka negotiate with the LTTE, a group designated by the United States since 1997 as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. However, we do believe that a broad range of other Tamil voices and opinions must be brought into a political process to reach a political solution that Tamils inside and outside of Sri Lanka see as legitimate. This will help assure Tamils that their rights are protected, that they have a say over important areas of their lives in geographical areas in which they predominate, and that they are an integral and respected part of an undivided Sri Lanka. At the same time, such as process would further delegitimize and erode the support of the LTTE in Sri Lanka and abroad.


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