[ineb] Fw: Press Release from National Peace Council in Sri Lanka
- Dear friends,
Please find the following a press relaease from the National Peace council
in Sri Lanka.
>> From: Peace Council <peace2@...>
>> To: peace2@...
>> Subject: Press Release
>> Date: 25 ????????? 2542 13:03
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>> National Peace Council
>> of Sri Lanka
>> 291/36A Havelock Gardens
>> Colombo 6
>> Tel: 075 349696
>> Tel/Fax: 502522
>> E Mail: peace2@...
>> Press Release
>> WANNI EVENTS SHOW MILITARY SOLUTION IS FUTILE
>> The National Peace Council condemns the shelling of the Madhu Church in
>> which nearly 40 civilians were killed and the church itself severely
>> damaged. The battle was fought around the religious shrine in which a
>> large number of civilians were known to be seeking refuge. It
>> a ruthless pursuit of military interests and territorial expansion at the
>> expense of basic human values by both sides.
>> While welcoming President Chandrika Kumaratunga's directive to the army
>> withdraw from the Madhu complex after the incident we would support the
>> call of the Catholic bishops that the area, which has been a refuge to
>> thousands of displaced persons, should not be violated by either side in
>> the future. We reiterate our previous calls that places of religious
>> worship should be treated as zones of peace with unhindered and free
>> for civilians.
>> During the course of the past month, territory recaptured from LTTE
>> at great cost over the past two and a half years by the army has been
>> Many thousands of combatants on both sides were killed during this
>> and there was enormous dislocation of civilians. Now, with the exception
>> the Jaffna peninsula, which still remains under government-control, the
>> ground situation is back to where it was two or more years ago. The
>> exchange of territory through military means has not brought peace and a
>> just solution any closer to the people. It has only brought death,
>> destruction, dislocation and suffering.
>> Recently President Kumaratunga was reported as saying that military
>> reversals could be expected in a war and be overcome. The same logic
>> applies to the peace process. In this context, it may not be premature
>> start thinking of a future in which the LTTE plays a role in the regional
>> politics of the country. The National Peace Council calls on the
>> government and LTTE to recognise their inability to bring a lasting and
>> just solution through military means and to accept the need for a renewed
>> peace process. This would include confidence building measures such as a
>> formal and actual adherence to the Geneva Conventions pertaining to the
>> treatment and protection of civilian populations.
>> The National Peace Council welcomes efforts taken by other civic
>> organisations, both locally and internationally, to promote the adherence
>> to International Humanitarian Law commonly known as "The Rules of War" as
>> codified in the Geneva Conventions. They could assist in mitigating some
>> of the most brutal aspects of the war for both civilians and combatants.
>> In the longer term, such dialogue may serve as an entry point into a
>> process of building trust and communication and encouraging consensual
>> dialogue relating to wider political processes.
>> Media Director