Batticaloa NGOs, Humanitarian Agencies appeal for peace

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 December 2004, 17:18 GMT]
A group of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and humanitarian agencies based in Batticaloa district in a press statement released Wednesday urged all those responsible for the maintenance of peace and stability in Batticaloa District to bring to a close the pattern of violence.

World University Service of Canada Sri Lanka (WUSC-SL), ZOA Refugee Care, Terre des homes (TDH), OXFAM Great Britain, Non Violent Peace Force, CARE International, Action contre la faim (ACF), Family Rehabilitation Centre (FRC), Sri Lanka Christian Child Care Association (SLCCCA), UNICEF, World Vision (WV), OXFAM Community Aid Abroad (OCAA), Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO), and Christian Children's Fund-Sri Lanka (CCF-SL) have issued this press statement.

The full text of the statement follows:

  1. Since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002 a positive climate of change has been experienced in Sri Lanka, encouraging movement from relief to rehabilitation and development and fostering a spirit of reconciliation between communities deeply affected by nearly two decades of conflict. Investment has grown, displaced people have returned home and people whose lives have been shattered by war have started to look towards a peaceful future.

  2. As international and local non-governmental organisations and humanitarian agencies we seek to contribute to this atmosphere of positive change working on such activities as resettlement, community development, food security, health, vocational training, and the rebuilding of trust between communities.

  3. We are, however, deeply concerned that despite positive initiatives towards sustainable peace, Batticaloa is experiencing a period of escalating violence. The frequent occurrence of violent killings, including people from all sectors of society, has adversely affected community life, marred development and investment prospects, and served to create an insecure environment that is not conducive to relief, rehabilitation, reconciliation or development.

  4. This is a time when the war-affected people of Batticaloa are hoping to rebuild their lives, but it is hard to see how that can happen within such a context of violence, fear and mistrust. As NGOs and humanitarian agencies, many with long-term involvement in Batticaloa, we strongly deplore the present situation and emphasise that if it is allowed to continue the life of communities and our work with them, will be further and more severely impeded.

  5. We therefore call upon all those responsible for the maintenance of peace and stability in Batticaloa District to address this issue and bring to a close the pattern of violence, recognizing your capacity to effect positive change and trusting in your concern for the welfare and development of all communities.


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