Sri Lanka

Donor group notes violence between Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers

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Group calls on both sides to adhere to cease-fire

The co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Donor Group -- including the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway -- met in Washington June 13 to discuss progress in the peace process between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and expressed concern at violence between the two parties.

"We note with utmost concern that while full-scale hostilities have not resumed, respect for the ceasefire agreement has been undermined by persistent violence, including assassinations of individuals affiliated with both parties," the co-chairs said in a media note released at the conclusion of their meeting.

The Sri Lanka Donor Group was formed under the Tokyo Declaration of 2003, in which the international community set out to establish a peace process between the parties and provide reconstruction assistance. The group meets periodically to monitor progress.

The co-chairs urged both parties to put an end to the violence and adhere to the provisions of the cease-fire agreement.

Following is the text of the media note:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
June 14, 2005

MEDIA NOTE

Meeting of Sri Lanka Donor Co-chairs Group

The United States, as host of the June 13 meeting of the Sri Lanka Donor Group Co-Chairs, issues the following statement agreed among members.

The Sri Lanka Donor Co-Chairs, founded in June 2003, consists of four members: European Union, Japan, Norway, and the United States. The group meets periodically to coordinate efforts to fulfill its responsibility under the Tokyo Declaration of 2003 to monitor reconstruction assistance to Sri Lanka and the peace process.

STATEMENT OF THE CO-CHAIR COUNTRIES OF THE SRI LANKA DONOR GROUP

The Co-Chairs of the Sri Lanka Donor Group met in Washington on June 13 to discuss the current situation in Sri Lanka and consider the way forward.

Peace Process and Ceasefire Agreement

We note with utmost concern that while full-scale hostilities have not resumed, respect for the Ceasefire Agreement has been undermined by persistent violence, including assassinations of individuals affiliated with both parties. The resulting climate of impunity violates the spirit of the Ceasefire Agreement.

The Co-Chairs urge the parties to take all necessary steps to end violence and enforce all provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement in areas under their control. The Co-Chairs call on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to stop assassinations, including of individuals such as Tamil informants, members of other Tamil groups and political parties and government and military officials, and to stop the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The Co-Chairs likewise call on the Sri Lankan government to take decisive action to ensure that killings are stopped and paramilitaries are disarmed immediately as required in the Ceasefire Agreement.

We recognize that most Sri Lankans understand that the only path to a better future is through negotiations aimed at a peaceful settlement. The Co-Chairs continue to call on the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to bring about substantial and concrete progress in the peace process.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)