|Saturday, 01 March 2003|
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon yesterday praised the progress achieved in the peace process in Sri Lanka.
Speaking in Colombo at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka, he paid tribute to the Government of Sri Lanka for the commitment it had demonstrated to resolve the ethnic conflict through negotiations and to build a durable peace.
During the visit, Mr. McKinnon called on President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ministers involved in the peace negotiations.
"The Commonwealth fully supports the peace process in Sri Lanka and we wish it well," the Secretary-General said, adding: "The Commonwealth stands ready to assist in consolidating peace and assisting with post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation in all practicable ways."
McKinnon visited Jaffna on Thursday, where he met representatives of the local administration and civil society organisations. He visited the newly reconstructed public library, the government hospital, the Nallur Kandasamy Temple and the city's main commercial area.
The Secretary-General also welcomed the engagement by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in dialogue and its willingness to resolve grievances by peaceful means, within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. "Conflict and killing had, as always, achieved nothing", he said. "Peaceful negotiation is the only way forward."
On Friday Mr. McKinnon also visited the famous Kelaniya Temple near Colombo.
Produced by Lake House