Tuesday, February 20, 2018
   
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International Support to End the Ethnic Conflict

The initiatives of successive Governments since 1995 in seeking to resolve the ethnic problem, including the relaxing of restrictions that had been placed on the transport of goods to the North, the peace talks with the LTTE, the cessation of hostilities and the comprehensive and far reaching proposals for the devolution of power to regional units have been fully supported by the international community. The restraint shown by the Government in the face of esclating attacks on the security forces by the LTTE, despite the ceasefire agreement signed in 2002, has been commended by the international community at large, as well as the co-chairs.

The fact that the international community has at last come to understand the true nature of the LTTE and the obstacles it places in the path of reaching a negotiated political settlement to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka, is largely a result of the efforts of the PA administration. While action is being taken to bring to the attention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the recent acts of terrorism against merchant ships mounted by the LTTE in Sri Lankan and international waters, Sri Lanka, as a Vice Chair of the UN Ad Hoc Committee negotiating a Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, has played a pivotal role in recent efforts at putting in place an international "regime" to tackle the incidence of terrorism. In this regard, the Legal Committee of the UN adopted in New York on 19th November the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which can be termed as the most important Convention in the history of the struggle against terrorism. Significantly, Sri Lanka also became the first to sign this Convention when it was opened for signature at the UN in New York in January 1998. With the coming into effect of Conventions such as these, Sri Lanka’s plea to the international community for many years to take collective action to stem the menace of terrorism, is likely to bear fruit in the near future. This is in striking contrast to the situation that prevailed earlier, when President J.R. Jayewardene had bemoaned that "Sri Lanka did not have any friend whom she could depend upon in the world".

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