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NZ regret on end to Sri Lanka ceasefire agreement

Hon Rick Barker
Duty Minister

17 January 2008
Media Statement

NZ expresses regret on end to Sri Lanka ceasefire agreement

Duty Minister, Rick Barker today expressed the Government’s regret over the Sri Lankan Government’s withdrawal from the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

“New Zealand is concerned about the deterioration of the security situation in Sri Lanka and the very serious implications for the civilian population.

“Already this year, there have been three attacks in the capital of Colombo, with one bomb killing a Sri Lankan Government deputy minister.

“In this context, the decision by Sri Lanka to withdraw from the Ceasefire Agreement and the subsequent termination of the work of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission is regretted,” Mr Barker said.

“The withdrawal from the agreement is a negative signal.

“New Zealand reiterates its call for both parties to end hostilities and return to the negotiating table in order to work towards a durable, political solution to the conflict.

“We also call on all sides to respect human rights and humanitarian law. It is the only real way for Sri Lanka to move forward,” Mr Barker said.


ENDS



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