The Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference, Norway,
the European Union, the USA and Japan met in Brussels on September
The Co-Chairs welcome the expression of willingness
of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to come to talks
unconditionally as conveyed to the Facilitator. The Parties should
cease all violence immediately. The Parties should use this
opportunity to show maximum flexibility regarding the arrangements
to be proposed by the Facilitator. The meeting should take place
urgently in Oslo at the beginning of October, to be agreed to by the
Parties. The Co-Chairs will meet at the end of October to review
progress of the talks.
Until now, the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE
have engaged in military ground operations and neither has responded
adequately to our call in Tokyo and taken the necessary steps to
reverse the deteriorating situation as we recommended.
The Co-Chairs are deeply alarmed by the recent
deliberate violations of the Ceasefire Agreement by the Parties.
These have escalated violence and resulted in massive and widespread
human suffering, including the abuse of human rights, the
displacement of innocent citizens, a humanitarian crisis and an
exodus of refugees to India.
The political challenges of the north and east
cannot be resolved through war. The Co-Chairs urge the Parties to
resume negotiation and show real political commitment to achieve a
political solution based on the previous six rounds of negotiation.
There should be no change to the specific arrangements for the north
and east which could endanger the achievement of peace. The
legitimate interests and aspirations of all communities, including
the Tamil, Muslims and Sinhala communities must be accommodated as
part of a political settlement.
The LTTE must abide by all agreements and renounce
terrorism and violence. The LTTE must show that it is willing to
make the compromises needed for a political solution within a united
Sri Lanka . The Government must ensure its military abides by the
Ceasefire Agreement and implements the pledges from the Geneva
meeting in February 2006.
Both parties must stop further violations of
fundamental principles of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. The
Co-Chairs condemn the numerous violations, such as the disappearance
and feared killings of large number of Muslims in Mutur, the murder
of 17 aid workers from the French NGO Action Contre la Faim, the
claymore attack on a civilian bus in June and the bombing of the
school in Mullaitivu in August. The Co-Chairs are particularly
concerned that even major cases of human rights’ abuses are not
successfully investigated or prosecuted. As in any modern state, the
culture of impunity must stop. The Co-Chairs welcome the call of the
President for international assistance on the human rights issue,
and offer to send a mission of high-level experts to review the
current situation and suggest further actions before the end of
The Co-Chairs expect guarantees for the safety of
NGO workers and for ensuring access for NGOs and international
organizations to help citizens and communities in need of essential
humanitarian assistance and valuable reconstruction and development
work. Failure to ensure safe working conditions of NGOs could result
in the withdrawal of some international NGOs and their funding from
Sri Lanka, which would be extremely detrimental to the situation of
all Sri Lankan citizens in the concerned areas.
The Parties must guarantee safety of media
representatives, civil society activists and religious leaders and
ensure true freedom of speech and expression can be exercised
without fear. Intimidation, attacks and killings of such persons
from any quarter are reprehensible.
Co-chairs encourage moderate forces on all sides to
engage constructively in the peace process. In this regard, the
Co-Chairs welcome the President’s offer to other political parties
to work together with a view to move towards a common national
agenda and a lasting peaceful constitutional settlement of the
conflict. Co-Chairs further encourage the civil society to continue
to play a major role in promoting and supporting a peaceful solution
to the conflict.
Failure to cease hostilities, pursue a political
solution, respect Human Rights and protect Humanitarian Space could
lead the international community to diminish its support.
Co-Chairs and other members of the international
community continue their support for the tireless efforts of Norway
to facilitate the peace process and the SLMM to monitor the
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Date: September 12, 2006 -11.30 GMT