Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia

 
ACHR PRESS RELEASE
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ACHR Index: PR/SLK/01/06
25 January 2006

Sri Lanka Peace Talks Welcomed
Sri Lankan government and LTTE urged to strengthen SLMM’s mandate

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today welcomed the agreement of the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to hold the peace talks in Switzerland, following the meeting of the Norwegian Envoy Eric Solheim with President Mahinda Rajapakse and LTTE Chief Villupiallia Prabhakaran. The LTTE had walked out of talks after the sixth round in Japan in March 2003 complaining that not enough was being done to rebuild the war-ravaged north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

“Both the parties have failed to show requisite sincerity to move the peace process forward and have been engaged in proxy wars. The critical issue is the commitment that both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE must bring in once they now sit across the table, especially in the light of violations of the Ceasefire Agreement in the last three years.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

At least 120 people - including about 80 soldiers and sailors and many civilians - have died in the upsurge of violence since early December 2005.

Asian Centre for Human Rights urged both the parties to expand the mandate of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission to enforce the cease-fire agreement and create conducive conditions for dialogue. “If necessary the involvement of United Nations Peace Keeping forces to enforce and monitor cease-fire agreement should be explored” – stated Mr Chakma.

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