Liberal Democrats to British PM: UK must seek UN Resolution for ceasefire in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 February 2009, 14:35 GMT]
Liberal Democrats have called on the British Government to seek a resolution of the United Nations Security Council demanding a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Edward Davey MP, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary, has written to the British Prime Minister on Monday, urging him to repeat his Government efforts that achieved a similar resolution in the conflict in Gaza. "In addition to pressure at the United Nations for a permanent ceasefire and for peace talks, I would urge you to use your influence this week within the European Union, within the Commonwealth and with President Obama’s new administration, to push for an end to hostilities."

Full text of the letter follows:

Re: Request urgently to pursue a resolution for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka at the United Nations Security Council

I was grateful for you meeting me, along with other Parliamentary colleagues, on Wednesday 28th January to discuss the military and humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka. I am pleased you agreed to contact the Sri Lankan Government, to consider our ideas such as an envoy, and above all, for your support for a ceasefire.

Since we met, the situation has, if anything, deteriorated further. As I’m sure you are aware, up to 250,000 civilians are reported to be caught up in the area of the most severe fighting. While reports are difficult to verify due to the massive restrictions placed on the media by the Sri Lankan Government, some sources suggest that hundreds of people have already been killed in recent weeks and that Sri Lanka is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

Therefore, I believe it is now time for the British Government to take the next step beyond calling for a ceasefire, and to seek a resolution of the United Nations Security Council to demand such a ceasefire.

Your Government rightly received praise for tabling and delivering a ceasefire resolution over the Gaza conflict, and the situation in Sri Lanka is now equally as desperate. While the terms of such a resolution would need to be negotiated, it is needed urgently and must cover not just the question of a ceasefire, but also the need for major humanitarian assistance and the presence of international monitors on the ground.

In addition to pressure at the United Nations for a permanent ceasefire and for peace talks, I would urge you to use your influence this week within the European Union, within the Commonwealth and with President Obama’s new administration, to push for an end to hostilities.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this most pressing of issues.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Davey MP
Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesman

 

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