Nyhet | Dato: 29.10.2006
The consultations took place in Geneva on 28-29 October 2006 following requests by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to meet to discuss humanitarian issues and political questions. (29.10.06)
Statement by the Norwegian Facilitator, Geneva 29 October 2006
The consultations took place in Geneva on 28-29 October 2006 following requests by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to meet to discuss humanitarian issues and political questions.
At the Co-chair meeting in Brussels on 12 September, the Tokyo co-chairs (EU, Japan, USA and Norway) encouraged the parties to meet for consultations.
Parties deserve recognition for accepting this call by the co-chairs, coming for these consultations at a time when conflict is more apparent than peace in Sri Lanka.
The parties agreed that the peace process will need to address the three following areas:
1) Human suffering
2) Military de-escalation and reduction of violence
3) Political components leading up to a political settlement
The Government presented the political process between the UNP and the SLFP. The international community has welcomed this initiative. The GOSL also made a reference to the work of the All Party Conference.
Discussions were also held on the urgent humanitarian situation and the need to address the plight of a very large number of civilians. Several issues were discussed. The LTTE requested the A9 to be opened. The Government refused to do so at this point. No agreement was reached between the parties on how to address the humanitarian crisis.
No date for a new meeting was agreed upon. Norway will be in ongoing dialogue with the parties to discuss all possible ideas on how to move the peace process forward.
Both parties reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire agreement and promised not to launch any military offensives. The international community has repeatedly expressed that it expects the parties to show restraint and fulfill these commitments.
I encouraged the parties to allow themselves some time to reflect on the situation and not to draw hasty conclusions or take actions that could increase the suffering of civilians in Sri Lanka.