AMBASSADOR DHANAPALA CALLS ON THE U.S.
AND OTHER DONOR CO-CHAIRS TO ENSURE THAT THE LTTE ABANDONS TERRORISM
AND RESPECTS DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS
Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat
and Senior Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka Jayantha Dhanapala
on Friday called on the U.S. and the other Co-Chairs of the Tokyo
Donor Conference supporting the Sri Lanka Peace Process, to exert
their influence at their forthcoming meeting to be held on the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly annual sessions, to ensure
that the LTTE abandons terrorism and respects democracy and human
rights norms. Noting that the LTTE had continued to violate the
ceasefire agreement with impunity, most recently demonstrated
by the brazen assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman
Kadirgamar, Ambassador Dhanapala said the time had come for the
international community to hold the LTTE accountable, and to unequivocally
demand that the LTTE strictly abides by the ceasefire agreement,
returns to the negotiating table they unilaterally left in April
2003 and works towards finding a lasting political settlement
to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Dhanapala made these observations
when he met with US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia
Christina Rocca and senior State Department officials in Washington.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Bernard A.B. Goonetilleke
was associated with Ambassador Dhanapala at this meeting.
Ambassador Dhanapala told Assistant Secretary
Rocca that Sri Lanka had no intension of abandoning the ceasefire
agreement or replacing Norway as facilitator, but 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 LTTE sought to deflect
international condemnation of their culpability for the assassination
of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar by agreeing to
urgent talks, their recent rejection of the venue proposed by
Norway, reflected a lack of sincerity.
Earlier welcoming Ambassador Dhanapala, Ms. Rocca
said the US Government and the people were very touched and gratified
by the speed at which Sri Lanka had come forward to assist those
affected by hurricane Kathrina’.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
09 Septmeber 2005