No military solution to Lankan conflict: Co-chairs

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Colombo, Jan 12 (UNI) Expressing concerns for Sri Lanka's decision to unilateral abrogation of the 2002 February Ceasefire Agreement with the Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka's donor co-chairs today stressed that there was no military solution to the island's bloody ethnic crisis.

The Co-Chairs emphasised their belief that there was no military solution to the conflict in the country, and reiterated their support for a negotiated settlement. They urged the Sri Lanka government to finalise a politically sustainable devolution plan, the Co-chairs such as the US, the EU, Norway and Japan said in a joint statement.

Throwing their full weight for a continued Norwegian role as facilitator, the Co-Chairs expressed deep concern about the human rights situation and protection of civilians in the country, and called for continued monitoring of the human rights situation.

Urging all parties to comply with their obligations under the international law to protect civilians and allow access by humanitarian aid agencies to populations in need, the Co-chairs also requested the country to provide access to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Kilinochchi for representatives of the Co-Chairs and the facilitator.

The statement, issued by the Norwegian embassy on behalf of the co-chairs, has come a day before the arrival of Japanese special peace envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi.

During this two-day visit here, Mr Akashi is scheduled to discuss with the government the current situation of the peace process.

UNI XC NY AS2240

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