17 January 2006

Secretary-General very Concerned about Deteriorating Security Situation in Sri Lanka; Urges Resumption of Dialogue, Respect for Human Rights

NEW YORK, 16 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is very concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Sri Lanka.  He deplores the attack on Saturday on the facilities of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).  Escalating violence in the past few months has put a severe strain on the ceasefire that had ushered in a new era of hope in Sri Lanka and brought significant benefits for its people over the past four years.  The impact of renewed violence is once again being felt by the civilian population.

The Secretary-General stresses that a return to conflict will not resolve outstanding differences between the parties.  He strongly urges the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to shore up the ceasefire, ensure respect for the human rights of all Sri Lankans, and urgently resume their dialogue under the facilitation of the Norwegian Government.

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