British Minister hopes President will take bold step  
[Friday, January 18, 2008 - 5.25 GMT]

Dr. Kim Howells, British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office concluding the Adjournment Debate of the House of Commons on Sri Lanka on January 17, referring to the forthcoming proposals of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) expressed hope that President Mahinda Rajapaksa "will take a bold step" to "put an end to dashed hopes and aspirations and lost opportunities," this year, "which marks the 60th Anniversary of Sri Lankan independence."
Referring to the present political situation in Sri Lanka he said:
"The LTTE needs to embrace democratic principles, encourage an open debate on what a just political solution for the Tamils might resemble and commit to pursuing its aims through peaceful means. . the use of terrorism and murder since 1983 has brought only misery and suffering to many innocent people in Sri Lanka. It continues to do so.
"The Sri Lankan Government, having ended the ceasefire, bears a heavy responsibility to deliver their commitment to produce a just political solution that satisfies the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans. That must happen soon.
"Britain remains ready to help. The international community has to stay engaged to help Sri Lanka find a way back to a sustainable peace process."
"When President Rajapaksa launched the APRC 18 months ago, he spoke of the need to take the necessary bold steps to put an end to dashed hopes and aspirations and lost opportunities. I hope that, this year, which marks the 60th anniversary of Sri Lankan independence, the President will take a bold lead to achieve just that. I remind him that the world is watching and waiting."
He also added, "Protection of human rights in Sri Lanka will remain a high priority for the international community with, we hope, a more prominent role for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sri Lanka. Moreover, it should be guaranteed the security required to undertake its work."








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Last Updated Date: January 18, 2008 - 5.25 GMT


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