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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2553

Sri Lankan government hopes EU ban will end violence; LTTE condemns it

Colombo, 31 May, (Asiantribune.com):The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE have responded predictably to the EU ban. The LTTE began condemning it even before the ban was imposed. It threatened to withdraw from the CFA and hinted at waging its Eelam War IV. The Sri Lankan government has responded positively to the EU ban imposed on the LTTE. A communiqué issued by the Presidential Secretariat “hopes that this clear and firm message would provide a fresh impetus and encouragement to the LTTE to think afresh and resume Talks with the assistance of the Norwegian facilitators.”

S. Puleedevan, head of the Tigers' peace secretariat from the northern rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, is quoted by Reuters as saying: “This ban is not going to help to promote the peace process,"

"This is really going to disturb the parity of status of the parties, which is very fundamental for the peace process," he added. "This is really going to shake the fundamentals."

As opposed to this the Presidential Secretariat’s statement states: “The Government appreciates the continued and constructive engagement of the EU in its efforts towards bringing the LTTE into the democratic main stream, especially their role as a member of the Co-Chairs in the peace process facilitated by Norway. The Government encourages the continued role of the EU in this regard.

The GOSL also looks forward to the strengthening of the SLMM's operational capacity and call on all concerned to ensure their safety and security as they continue their indispensable work supportive of the ceasefire.

It adds: ‘As articulated by President Rajapaksa the Government will press ahead with its search for a political solution based on democracy and human rights, that meets the aspirations of all communities in Sri Lanka and will preserve the territorial integrity of the country.” This theme is echoed in the statement issued by the Co-chairs that met in Tokyo today.

The following is the full text of the statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat:

The Government of Sri Lanka has noted the announcement by the European Union (EU) concerning the listing of the LTTE under EU Regulations. As has been often stated, this action by the EU is the latest in a series of deterrent measures by the international community concerning acts of violence perpetrated against innocent civilians, ceasefire monitors and security forces undermining the Government's peace effort to engage the LTTE in a credible and sustainable process of negotiations.

The Government hopes that this clear and firm message would provide a fresh impetus and encouragement to the LTTE to think afresh and resume Talks with the assistance of the Norwegian facilitators.

The Government for its part reiterates its commitment to the continuation of Talks with the LTTE, on both the ceasefire and substantive issues relevant to the peace process. The Government has taken action to implement what has been agreed at Geneva I and is prepared to discuss at the future Talks any remaining problems and build mutual confidence necessary to make progress. It is the fervent hope of the Government that the LTTE will take cognizance of the clearly expressed view of the international community and desist from further acts of violence and engage constructively in the peace process. The Government shall reciprocate this constructive spirit in full measure.

The Government is of the firm conviction that solutions to the issues at hand have to be sought only through political means and not through military means. It therefore rejects any suggestions that these measures by the international community would or should encourage any military options by anyone.

As articulated by President Rajapaksa the Government will press ahead with its search for a political solution based on democracy and human rights, that meets the aspirations of all communities in Sri Lanka and will preserve the territorial integrity of the country. To this end, work at expert level has already commenced within the All Party Conference framework to define President Rajapaksa's vision of a maximum devolution of power in an undivided Sri Lanka.

The Government appreciates the continued and constructive engagement of the EU in its efforts towards bringing the LTTE into the democratic main stream, especially their role as a member of the Co-Chairs in the peace process facilitated by Norway. The Government encourages the continued role of the EU in this regard.

The GOSL also looks forward to the strengthening of the SLMM's operational capacity and call on all concerned to ensure their safety and security as they continue their indispensable work supportive of the ceasefire.

The President and the Government are resolved to continue the consensus building process with the participation of all political parties as mandated by the All Party Conference seeking the participation of all communities in the governance of the country to fulfill their aspirations and to ensure human rights, democracy and pluralism.

- Asian Tribune -

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