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Last updated: 07 January, 2009 - Published 13:29 GMT
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UK, US urge political solution
Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander
UK has urged parties to the conflcit to respect international law
The United Kingdom government has once again urged Sri Lanka to find a political solution to end the conflict in the island.

Senior UK ministers have said that the recent capture of LTTE’s former political headquarters, Kilinochchi, by the security forces makes it “even more urgent” the need to find a political solution.

Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander and Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown have also urged both parties to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law, a statement issued on Tuesday by the British High Commission in Colombo said.

US statement

“We remain concerned about the humanitarian impact of the conflict and call on all parties to abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, in particular the need to ensure the safety of civilians, to allow their free movement in the Vanni and to enhance access for humanitarian agencies to facilitate the delivery of adequate supplies of humanitarian aid,” the ministers have said.

Robert O' Blake
US says a political process would "erode the support of the LTTE in Sri Lanka and abroad"

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the capture of Kilinochchi on 02 January.

“This development makes it even more urgent that all parties achieve progress on setting out a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities. This is the only way to achieve a strong and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka in which all communities can prosper,” UK ministers were quoted in the statement.

Describing the capture of Kilinochchi as “an important point”, the United States expresses hope that it will “hasten an end to the conflict”.

Indian response

A statement issued by the US embassy in Colombo has also stressed the importance of finding a political solution.

The statement says that the US does not advocate Sri Lanka government negotiating with the LTTE.

 This development makes it even more urgent that all parties achieve progress on setting out a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities
British ministers, Douglas Alexander and Lord Malloch-Brown

“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 said.

Commenting on the capture of Kilinochchi, Indian government said military solution is only one among the “several aspects” of Sri Lanka’s problem.

“There is no military solution to Sri Lanka’s problem, no matter how the military situation might fluctuate,” India’s foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told journalists in Delhi on Monday.

“Until there is a political understanding within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, within which all the communities in Sri Lanka are comfortable, you cannot speak of a political solution,” he added.

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