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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Ceasefire Agreement & Lifting of Ban on LTTE > US supports ceasefire agreement,16 March 2002

Norwegian Peace Initiative

US supports ceasefire agreement
16 March 2002,  Source: US Emabassy, Colombo

US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca held a press conference this morning at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Ambassador Ashley Wills also attended the event. Attached is Assistant Secretary Rocca's opening statement:

�This is my first visit here as Assistant Secretary of States for South Asian Affairs, and I have come at what is clearly an important moment in Sri Lanka�s history. As you know, the United States Government has expressed its support for the recently announced cease-fire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. Secretary Powell has called the Prime Minister to this effect and applauded his efforts to end Sri Lanka�s long civil conflict. As the Sri Lankan Government has supported the United States in its struggle against terrorism, we have always supported the Sri Lankan Government�s policy on ending the war here. 

A ceasefire is not the same thing as an achieved peace agreement. The negotiations will be difficult. There will be setbacks as well as progress. By signing this ceasefire agreement, though, both parties have indicated that they have chosen peace over war, reconciliation over division. Both parties have made a solemn pledge to honor this ceasefire. The people of Sri Lanka � Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim � as well as the international community expect no less. We applaud the efforts of the Norwegian government to assist Sri Lanka in this process of national reconciliation. We urge both sides to more forward toward negotiations on a permanent settlement of the conflict.

I was privileged yesterday to visit Jaffna together with Ambassador Ashley Wills and U.S. Marine General Tim Ghormley. I met with the Prime Minister and other Cabinet members, received a military briefing and made a brief stop at Chavakachcheri to see first hand the horrific damage caused by the war in Sri Lanka. Altogether it was a moving experience and I greatly appreciate the Sri Lankan Government�s assistance in making the trip possible.

I have also spoken about economic issues with Sri Lankan government interlocutors. We support the government�s policy on introducing greater openness in a more privatized economy. This will create the right atmosphere for the economic growth and increased investment that Sri Lanka needs to realize its economic potential and bring prosperity to its people. I should point out the United States is Sri Lanka�s number one foreign trade partner � though the trade balance is currently running in Sri Lanka�s favor by a ratio of about ten-to-one, so we hope that Sri Lanka will be looking for opportunities to buy American products.

The relations between Sri Lanka and the United States are broad and as strong as they have ever been.


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