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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2767

UN, US, Canada, and Norway blast Sri Lanka on CFA withdrawal

Colombo, 04 January, (Asiantribune.com): The United Nations, the US, Canada and Norway blasted Sri Lanka over its withdrawal from th Ceasefire Agreement.

Deploring the withdrawal yesterday, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in a statement said that he is "deeply worried" that the withdrawal from the accord comes amidst intensifying fighting in the North and increasing violence across the country, including the capital, Colombo. Moon's spokesman announced "The Secretary-General urges all concerned to ensure the protection of civilians and enable humanitarian assistance to be provided to affected areas."

The United States State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the US was "troubled" at the move and urged both sides to avoid further fighting. "Ending the cease-fire agreement will make it more difficult to achieve a lasting, peaceful solution" he said and added "Both sides share the responsibility to protect the rights of all of Sri Lanka's people."

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier blasted Sri Lanka. "Canada deeply regrets the decision of the government of Sri Lanka to withdraw from the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement." Bernier added: "Withdrawal from this important agreement will make the search for a durable political solution more difficult, and only increases the likelihood that the incidents of violence being carried out by both sides will increase."

Issuing a statement on Wednesday, Norway's Minister of International Development Erik Solheim said that Norway regrets the Government of Sri Lanka's decision to terminate the 2002 ceasefire agreement. "I regret that the Government is taking this serious step" he said.

"This comes on top of the increasingly frequent and brutal acts of violence perpetrated by both parties, and I am deeply concerned that the violence and hostilities will now escalate even further. The termination of the agreement will primarily affect the Nordic Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), as its mandate is set out in the agreement. It may therefore be necessary to withdraw the mission. This would weaken efforts to protect the civilian population, which would be most regrettable" Mr. Solheim said.

- Asian Tribune -

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