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US condemns LTTE for 'fueling violence'
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington, DC | November 29, 2006 09:20 IST
Condemning the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for ending a 2002 ceasefire agreement in Sri Lanka, the United States has said it was disturbed at the developments in the island nation.
"The 2002 cease-fire agreement is the foundation on which both the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers can find mutual understanding and build sustainable peace.
"We condemn the Tamil Tigers for fueling violence and hostility. Violence and terrorism do nothing to advance the resolution of the conflict," the State department Spokesman Sean McCormack said on Tuesday.
"And we're pressing both sides, the government as well as the Tigers, to honor the cease-fire agreement and return to a dialogue that will move the nation toward peace. The Tigers can choose to return to the peace process and should do so for the benefit of the Sri Lankan people" he added.
Asked if there was any fresh diplomatic track the state department is working on, McCormack maintained that the United States was working within the Contact Group process or the "monitoring group".
"We're working within the contact group process, the monitoring group. And we have recently hosted a meeting of the co-chairs of the Tokyo donor conference -- Norway, Japan and the European Union -- to help find a durable solution. So that's really the mechanism through which we work to try to move the process forward," he said.
The senior official also said that at this time the situation in the Island Nation is being handled by the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher. But if the situation warranted the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would not hesitate to intervene.
Asked if the situation has reached to the level of the Secretary of State, the spokesman replied, "No, this is actually something Nick Burns is deeply involved in. He was actually one of the attendees at this donors conference. He regularly updates the secretary on it. So she does follow it".
"Certainly, if she needs to intervene with phone calls or anything else, she'll do what she can" McCormack said.LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, in an annual speech on Monday, said the 2002 ceasefire agreement "defunct" and vowed to resume fighting.