Friday, January 23, 2009

Britain endorses war on LTTE while emphasizing human rights and political solution

(TC)The full text of the written Ministerial Statement by the Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs on Sri Lanka, issued on 21 January 2009, follows:

The Government has long standing concerns with the promotion of peace in Sri Lanka, where the conflict has claimed at least 70,000 lives during the past 26 years. We are now at an important moment.

Since its abrogation in January 2008 of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement, the Sri Lankan government has embarked on a policy of militarily defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In recent months the government has made significant military gains, including the capture of Kilinochchi, the former administrative centre of the LTTE in the north, and the capture of remaining rebel territory in the Jaffna Peninsula. These gains make progress on a political solution even more urgent. The LTTE is a proscribed terrorist organisation with no democratic mandate to represent the Tamil people. It is responsible for a terrorist campaign that has targeted innocent civilians across all communities in Sri Lanka over the past three decades. Full Text