15 May 2006

Secretary-General Concerned by Major Sea, Air Attacks in Sri Lanka; Calls on Parties to Resume Dialogue

NEW YORK, 12 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is disturbed by the news of major sea and aerial attacks in Sri Lanka, including an attack on a vessel that had unarmed international monitors on board.  These attacks have caused the deaths of 18 Sri Lanka navy personnel and a number of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members.

The Secretary-General has taken note of the statement by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), demanding that the LTTE immediately cease all operations at sea, and describing these as a serious violation of the Ceasefire Agreement.  He adds that it is unacceptable to attack vessels that are carrying SLMM monitors.

The Secretary-General appeals to both the Government and the LTTE to change course and bring the country back on a path to peace.  He repeats his call on all the parties to summon the political will to resume their dialogue under the facilitation of the Norwegian Government.

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