UK debunks Sri Lanka's bid for military victory
A British official debunks the Govt's bid to solve the ethnic problem by scoring a military victory over the LTTE, reports PK Balachandran.Updated: Feb 13, 2007, 18:13 IST
Dr Kim Howells, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, now on an official mission of peace to Sri Lanka, has debunked the Sri Lankan government's bid to solve the ethnic problem by scoring a military victory over the LTTE.
"Our experience tells us that a War for Peace approach inevitably means more war, rather than peace," Howells said in a statement released by the British High Commission.
"And violence comes with too heavy a price. It is the people who suffer, as human rights are eroded, the humanitarian situation deteriorates and mistrust between communities increases. This, in turn, damages Sri Lanka's image in the world," he added.
"A military victory for one side is very unlikely to produce a lasting political solution," he warned.
Linking British aid to the return of peace, Howells said: "The British government's political and development efforts in Sri Lanka have a single aim - to help create conditions in which a lasting peace can be achieved."
Howells' visit comes at a time when the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told BBC that it was wrong on the part of Sri Lanka to have signed the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE.
The CFA was signed by the Ranil Wickremesinghe government in February 2002.
Earlier, Rajapaksa told the Norwegian Ambassador, Hans Brattskar, that the LTTE had been able smuggle in huge quantities of arms because of the CFA (brokered by Norway).
In view of the anniversary of the signing of the CFA on February 22, there is a political campaign on to press for a withdrawal from the CFA. While the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has been demanding it for long, the National Bhikku Front (NBF), an organisation of Buddhist monks, is currently on a fast to press for the nullification of the CFA.
On the ground, the CFA is observed in the breach by both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. What is going on in Sri Lanka is an undeclared war with no end in sight.