Sri Lanka

Statement of the co-chairs of the Sri Lanka donor group

The following is a statement released by the Co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Donor Group, who met June 13, 2005, in Washington D.C.

"The Co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Donor Group met 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 Cease-Fire 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 Cease-Fire Agreement.

The Co-chairs urge the parties to take all necessary steps to end violence and enforce all provisions of the Cease-Fire 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 Cease-Fire 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 LTTE to bring about substantial and concrete progress in the peace process.

The Co-chairs commend the untiring efforts of Norway to facilitate a peaceful resolution to this conflict, and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in carrying out the monitoring of the Cease-Fire Agreement.

Tsunami reconstruction

The Co-chairs support the commitment by the President, her government and the LTTE to rapidly implement the structure to administer tsunami assistance in the North and East. The Co-chairs recognize the importance of the Muslim community in the functioning of this structure. We believe such a structure will facilitate effectiveness and equity in tsunami assistance, and can help build confidence between the two sides. We urge the immediate signing of the agreement in order to ensure proper flow of reconstruction aid to tsunami victims in the North and East.

The Co-Chairs call on all donors, private and public, to tailor their reconstruction activities in the North and East to the specific humanitarian situation, particularly the need to observe a balance between the victims of the conflict and those of the tsunami."

Released by the Embassy of the United States of America Colombo.