America warns Tigers
United States Ambassdor to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead has warned the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to stop its violent activities and
return to peace talks. "If the LTTE chooses to abandon peace, however,
we want it to be clear they will face a stronger, more capable and more
determined Sri Lankan military," Lunstead added.
The US envoy was speaking to the business community of the American
Chamber of Commerce at the World Trade Centre yesterday.
Ambassador Lunstead commenting further said the US remained committed
to the peace process in Sri Lanka and in helping the legitimate
governing bodies of the Island to prepare for their roles in developing
and protecting their citizens.
"Through our military training and assistance programmes, including
efforts to help with counter-terrorism initiatives and block illegal
financial transactions, we are helping to shape the ability of the Sri
Lankan Government to protect its people and defend its interest.
Sri Lanka is at tricky point in its history.It is not clear if it is
at a crossroads or a cliff's edge," Lunstead was referring to the
deadlock in the country's peace efforts and failure to revive talks
between the Government and the LTTE.
Referring to the Norway's facilitation process the US envoy mentioned
that the peace process was paramount.
"As we look at peace and prosperity we are at a point in the cycle
when the furtherance of peace is perhaps the single most important thing
that can push Sri Lanka along the path to further prosperity,"Lunstead
said. Meanwhile Australia condemns the recent increase in violence in
Sri Lanka, particularly the attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE) in the North and East which killed at least 45 members of
the security forces during December.
Australia also condemns the assassination of Joseph Pararajasingham
MP at midnight mass on Christmas day in Batticaloa.
Australia recognises the restraint shown by the Government of Sri
Lanka in not retaliating against these latest attacks, as well as its
determination not to allow the LTTE's actions to undermine efforts to
achieve a negotiated peace.
Australia expects the LTTE and paramilitary groups to respect the
ceasefire agreement and heed the recent call of the Co-Chairs of the
Tokyo Peace Conference by stopping all violations of the ceasefire.
Australia considered that the conflict can only be resolved through a
negotiated settlement that meets the aspirations of all Sri Lankans and
calls upon all parties to take steps to end the recent violence and
quickly engage in talks.