Exclusion from donor conference undermines peace process - LTTE
[TamilNet, Friday, 04 April 2003, 10:08 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Friday protested its exclusion from an international donor conference to be hosted by the United States in Washington on April 14 to back reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the Tamil north and east of Sri Lanka. In a press release issued from its Political Headquarters in Kilinochchi, the LTTE expressed its ‘disappointment’ at the move, saying this would undermine confidence in the ongoing peace process.
The following are the extracts of the LTTE’s statement:
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is disappointed by its exclusion from the international conference to support reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the north and east of Sri Lanka to be hosted by the United States in Washington on April 14.
From the outset of the Norwegian-brokered negotiations, the two parties to the conflict, the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), agreed to equal and joint partnership in efforts to solicit international financial assistance for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the north and east of Sri Lanka. We point out that Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs was formed in the context of this equal and joint partnership. It was also in this context that the first international donor conference held in Oslo on November 25, 2002 was successfully staged. Whilst funds were pledged for urgent needs at that meeting, a larger donor conference to be held in June this year in Japan was promoted as the main forum for securing international assistance for reconstruction efforts in the war-torn Tamil areas.
Regrettably, the United States has undermined this joint effort by isolating the LTTE and solely promoting the GoSL at the preliminary meeting on April 14. The exclusion of the LTTE from reconstruction efforts in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka is against the spirit of the peace process. It also undermines confidence in both the reconstruction initiative and the peace process. The LTTE is therefore dismayed and disappointed by the US action.
We call upon the United States and international donors to actively support the Norwegian peace process by endorsing the joint participation of the LTTE and GoSL in reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the north and east of Sri Lanka.