Talks should address democracy, human rights, development- GoSL

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 October 2006, 12:43 GMT]
Expressing hopes that the talks will build the "required atmosphere and move the country forward to the realization of a just and honorable peace," Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, in the opening speech on behalf of Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) Saturday morning said, GoSL's APC is "formulating a political and constitutional framework for the resolution of the national question." He said that despite provocations of the LTTE, GoSL is continuing the dialogue, and cautioned "LTTE not to consider GoSL's commitment to the peace process as a sign of weakness."

PDF IconSri Lanka's Opening Statement in Geneva II

Mr. Silva said that "the aim of the Government is to engage the various political parties discuss their different approaches and through their deliberations arrive at a broad framework that will generate consensus," and noted the discussions with the United National Party on the 6-point common minimum national agenda.

After accusing the Liberation Tigers of several instances of violences committed since Geneva I, the Minister detailed the following topics as Government's objectives for the talks, and the actions GoSL has taken on these issues:
  • Democracy: Government is deeply concerned with ensuring that each citizen of Sri Lanka is able to enjoy the benefits of a democratic society,
  • Human Rights: "government’s wish that the global principles of human rights will be established in the East and the North as well. The government acknowledges that the situation in the South needs improvement in certain respects,"
  • Humanitarian Considerations: Security, Humanitarian assistance, language policy- GoSL has "escorted and provided humanitarian assistance to LTTE cadres,..has consistently discharged its responsibilities towards internally displaced persons, ..and has taken number of initiatives to implement the official language policy,"
  • Transgressions by the LTTE: GoSL noted the following as the key issues for discussion; "illegal air-strip" in Iranaimadu and "recruitment and abduction of children" by the Liberation Tigers,
  • Development: Despite obstacles imposed by the LTTE such as denying access to areas such as Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, "an overwhelmingly substantial part of the humanitarian and infrastructural needs of the civilian population of the North and East, including conflict areas are currently met by the Government of Sri Lanka."

In concluding Mr Silva said Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse will "go the extra mile in search of peace – a dignified and honorable peace. Where a Sri Lankan model of devolution will be devised for an undivided country to address the root causes of this conflict. It will also be a model, which will be consistent with regional geo-political realities."

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