Canada Supports Political Solution in Sri Lanka

(No. 30 - February 4, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the situation in Sri Lanka:

"Canada calls for the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to declare and honour an immediate ceasefire to allow full, safe and unhindered access; the evacuation of the sick and wounded; and the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians.

"Canada endorses the statement released yesterday by the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka (Norway, Japan, the United States and the European Union). The statement proposes conditions to prevent further civilian casualties and human suffering and to achieve a just and lasting political solution.

"Canada strongly condemns recent shelling attacks on the hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu and firing into the government-designated safe area. All efforts must be made to avoid civilian casualties.

"We continue to believe that the conflict cannot be resolved militarily and can only be settled through a durable political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Sri Lanka. Therefore, Canada supports the co-chairs' call for the LTTE to discuss with the Government of Sri Lanka the terms for ending hostilities, including the renunciation of violence, the laying down of arms, and the acceptance of the Government of Sri Lanka's offer of amnesty, as the first step toward an inclusive political dialogue that can contribute to a lasting peace."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874