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Tsunami & Aftermath > Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference - Statement
issued US Embassy in Colombo, 19 September 2005
Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference
Statement issued US Embassy in Colombo
19 September 2005
"...The future of Sri Lanka lies in the hands of
the people of Sri Lanka. The forthcoming elections are a time of
political choice in Sri Lanka. It is natural that there will be
vigorous debate on the best way forward in the peace process.
The Co-Chairs look to all parties to refrain from violence and
from statements and acts that could undermine progress toward
the peaceful resolution of the conflict after the elections..."
The Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference in
support of the peace process in Sri Lanka met in New York on 19
September to discuss the current situation in Sri Lanka, following
the assassination of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Kadirgamar.
The Co-Chairs reiterate their unequivocal condemnation of the
assassination of the Foreign Minister. This unconscionable act of
terrorism casts profound doubt on the commitment of those
responsible to a peaceful and political resolution of the conflict.
The Co-Chairs call on the LTTE to take immediate public steps to
demonstrate their commitment to the peace process and their
willingness to change. An immediate end to political assassinations
by the LTTE and an end to LTTE recruitment of child soldiers are two
The Co-Chairs believe that the peace process between the Government
of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is
facing its most serious challenge since the Ceasefire Agreement came
into force in February 2002. The Ceasefire Agreement remains the
essential anchor of the peace process and is put at grave risk by
the continuing violence. Effective implementation of the agreement
is the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.
The Co-Chairs commend the Government of Sri Lanka for its restraint
following the assassination of Foreign Minister Kadirgamar and for
its willingness to discuss the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE.
The Co-Chairs are disappointed that the LTTE have not agreed to the
proposed venue for talks with the Government of Sri Lanka about
implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement. The Co-Chairs urge both
parties to engage constructively with special representative of
Norway, Major General Furuhovde, during his planned visit in October
to find practical ways of improving implementation of the Ceasefire
The Co-Chairs deplore the activities of paramilitary groups, which
fuel the cycle of violence and unrest. The Co-Chairs underscore the
responsibility of the Sri Lankan government under the Ceasefire
Agreement to disarm or relocate these groups from the north and
The future of Sri Lanka lies in the hands of the people of Sri
Lanka. The forthcoming elections are a time of political choice in
Sri Lanka. It is natural that there will be vigorous debate on the
best way forward in the peace process. The Co-Chairs look to all
parties to refrain from violence and from statements and acts that
could undermine progress toward the peaceful resolution of the
conflict after the elections.
The Co-Chairs hope that the peace process will be reinvigorated
following the elections. The Co-Chairs reiterate that a peaceful
resolution of the conflict can only be achieved through a negotiated
political settlement that follows the principles agreed in Oslo in
December 2002 to explore a solution based on a federal model within
a united Sri Lanka, and which ensures democracy and full respect for
human rights and the legitimate rights of all ethnic groups.
Nearly a year has passed since the tsunami, and the Co-Chairs
reiterate that the international community remains fully committed
to implementing the pledges made for tsunami reconstruction.
Cooperation between the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE and the
Muslim community will be important for sustainable recovery in the
north and east.
Finally, the Co-Chairs wish to thank outgoing Norwegian Foreign
Minister Petersen and Deputy Minister Helgesen for their tireless
efforts at facilitating the peace process in Sri Lanka. We reaffirm
our strong support to Norway as facilitator.