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No need to negotiate with LTTE: US to SL Govt

world Updated: Jan 08, 2009 16:28 IST
TV Sriram

The United States has expressed hope that the fall of LTTEs de-facto capital of Kilinochchi would end decades of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and said there was no need to hold talks with the Tiger rebels.

"The war which has gripped the island nation for more than 25 years is drawing to an end," the US Embassy said in a statement here.

"Particularly, the liberation of the LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi can be considered as the final phase in the war against Tamil Tigers," the Embassy was quoted as saying in a Sri Lankan government release.

"The US is confident that a political solution will be found with the operations drawing to close and all communities will receive the opportunity of living in a peaceful environment," the release said.

"The fall of Kilinochchi represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka. We hope that this event will help hasten an end to the conflict," the American embassy stated.

"We believe that a lasting and sustainable peace can best be achieved if the Lankan Government now works on reaching a political solution that addresses the aspirations of all Sri Lankans, including Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese," the statement said.

"The United States does not advocate that the Government of Sri Lanka negotiate with the LTTE, a group designated by America as a Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997," it said.

"However, we do believe that a broad range of other Tamil voices and opinions must be brought into a political process to reach a political solution that Tamils inside and outside of Sri Lanka see as legitimate," it added.

The statement said that this would help assure Tamils that their rights were protected, that they had a say over important issues of their lives in geographical areas in which they predominate, and that they were an integral and respected part of an undivided Sri Lanka.

At the same time, such moves would further delegitimise and erode the support of the LTTE in Sri Lanka and abroad," it said.