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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Dhanapala continues to exert pressure on US to get LTTE

[b]Dhanapala continues to exert pressure on US to get LTTE to democratic mainstream[/b]

Daya Gamage – US Correspondent to Asian Tribune

[b] Washington, D.C. 11 September ([/b] Jayantha Dhanapala, Sri Lanka President’s senior advisor and Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat continued his diplomatic endeavor on Friday, September 9 to impose his cogent arguments on top policy makers and diplomats in the South Asia Division of the U.S. Department of State here that they, the United States government and other Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference should exert serious pressure on the Tamil rebel outfit to abandon terrorism and respect democracy and human rights norms.

Dhanapala called on US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca and senior State Department officials in Washington accompanied by his nation’s Ambassador to the US Bernard Goonetilleke to tell that Sri Lanka has no intention of abandoning the ceasefire agreement or replacing Norway as facilitator.

,br> Ambassador Dhanapala made a forceful submission on Thursday at the Capitol Building before the US Congress Sri Lanka Caucus blaming the international community for its failure to make result-oriented pressure on the LTTE to give up its terrorism and violating the ceasefire agreement.

He wanted the September 17 scheduled meeting in Washington of the Co-Chairs, which coincides with the UN General Assembly annual session, to take up the LTTE issue to ensure that the Tiger outfit abandon terrorism, respect human rights and democracy.

Noting that the LTTE had continued to violate the ceasefire agreement with impunity, most recently demonstrated by the brazen assassination of his country’s foreign minister Kadirgamar, Ambassador Dhanapala, who is a seasoned public diplomacy professional, told assistant secretary Rocca that time had come for the international community to hold the LTTE accountable, and to unequivocally demand that the Tiger outfit strictly abide by the ceasefire agreement, return to negotiating table they unilaterally left in April 2003 and work toward finding a lasting political settlement to Sri Lanka’s crisis.

He said that there was an urgent need for other countries to play a greater role in supplementing Norway’s efforts in getting the LTTE to the negotiating table.

He expressed concern that although the Tamil rebel outfit sought to deflect international condemnation of their culpability for the assassination of the former foreign minister by agreeing to urgent talks, their recent rejection, to discuss the ceasefire agreement, of the venue proposed by Norway reflected a lack of sincerity.

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