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UNP statement on Tokyo Co-chair Conference

COLOMBO: The UNP welcomes the joint statement issued by the Co-Chairs at the Tokyo Donor Conference on the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka.

The UNP fully endorses the view of the Co-Chairs that while the international community can and will support the process, in the final analysis peace can only be delivered by all Sri Lankans, acting together, themselves, a statement issued by the United National Party (UNP) said.

The European Union, Japan, US and Norway, have proposed a number of measures to save Sri Lanka which is in their view, on the brink of war.

They have called on the Government and the LTTE to take immediate steps to reverse the deteriorating situation and put the country back on the road to peace;

They are: The LTTE must renounce terrorism and violence and re-enter the negotiating process.

The Government must address the legitimate grievances of the Tamils; immediately prevent armed groups based in territory under its control from carrying out violence and acts of terrorism; protect the rights and security of Tamils throughout the country; ensure violators are prosecuted; and make the political changes to bring about a new system of Governance which will enhance the rights of all Sri Lankans.

All political parties and indeed all Sri Lankans concerned with the alarming situation which has pushed this country to the brink of war would agree with this assessment of what needs to be done by the Government and the LTTE, if peace is to be restored.

The UNP fully endorses the co-chairs recommendations that the Government and the LTTE should recommit themselves to the basic principles agreed on during the negotiations between 2002-2003.

These principles include, as the Co-Chairs have said: the Ceasefire Agreement of February 2002, the decisions from the six rounds of talks held in 2002 and 2003, and the Geneva meeting in February 2006.

The UNP confirms once again its adherence to these fundamental principles that safeguard the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, assures protection and fulfils the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil and Muslim people, guarantees democracy and human rights, and is acceptable to all communities.

Therefore the UNP calls upon the Government to immediately recommit themselves to the basic principles agreed upon by the Government and the LTTE and thereby take the first steps to renew the peace process, the statement said.

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