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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2611

A Call to Peace and End to Arms

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 13 January, (Asiantribune.com): The Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies have called for an end to violence that has been created over two decades of conflict and urged it be replaced with a new culture of peace.

Humanitarian agencies have urged that lasting peace must be found within the intellectual and moral solidarity of the citizens of Sri Lanka.

Agencies pointed out "It is this solidarity that should be our country’s desired goal, driven by its citizens on the basis of wholehearted commitment, vision and strength to achieve a united Sri Lanka where all ethnic and religious groups can live in freedom, equality and dignity."

The full text of the statement released by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies is given below:

The Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies has watched with horror and revulsion the impact of disasters on our citizens. In addition to the ever increasing number of internally displaced persons, the humanitarian crisis over the past year has led to the creation of more vulnerability among those who live in war torn regions.

The total number of deaths as a result of the two decade conflict currently amounts to 67,000, out of which nearly 3,000 are civilians who were killed since the resumption of the conflict in 2006. Due to the conflict, more than half a million Sri Lankans have been displaced throughout the country of which 213,000 alone are newly displaced since 2006, adding to the 315,000 persons displaced prior to 2006.

Two years have passed and 120,000 to 140,000 Sri Lankans remain displaced and in need of continued assistance as a result of the tsunami disaster. Former President Clinton, as the special envoy of the SG of the UN, highlighted in his report the need to address measures that could be taken to increase the quality of life, safety and economic vitality of communities on their path to sustainable development.

Similarly, former Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his statement on 26th December 2006, stated that Sri Lanka lacks the spirit and solidarity to rebuild better. Furthermore, he stated that the resumption of conflict had made reconstruction difficult due to new restrictions and tension stemming from the conflict, which has once again brought about much misery and destruction. He concluded by reminding Sri Lanka that all parties have an obligation to respect human rights and international law.

At a moment when despair looms large in the eyes of most friends of peace in the country, we at CHA remain steadfast in our conscience to defend the right to life and development of all Sri Lankans. We will continue our efforts to provide access to the neediest, hold to account violators of human rights, and commit ourselves entirely to the pursuit of peace in Sri Lanka.

The culture of violence created over two decades of conflict must be replaced with a new culture of peace. CHA believes that lasting peace must be found within the intellectual and moral solidarity of the citizens of Sri Lanka. It is this solidarity that should be our country’s desired goal, driven by its citizens on the basis of wholehearted commitment, vision and strength to achieve a united Sri Lanka where all ethnic and religious groups can live in freedom, equality and dignity.

- Asian Tribune -

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