|Good start for peace say diplomats
Almost all Colombo based diplomats yesterday hailed the commitment and swiftness of the government in reaching an agreement with the LTTE and pledged to increase their volume of assistance especially in development work in the North and East and also on relief measures in conflict areas, diplomatic sources said.
It is a good and solid start for a permanent peace in this country, the diplomats and heads of international organisations told Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando and Enterprise Development, Investment Promotion and Constitutional Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris after they were briefed by the two ministers.
Several diplomats had paid special attention on incidents like extortion and abduction during the last couple of weeks in the East. Prof. Peiris responded that the government and the international fora are now in a better position to monitor and report them.
Those incidents happened at a time when there was no proper regulatory mechanism or an agreed framework. Now we have a well prepared and mutually agreed document with international monitoring to watch and report these incidents, he was quoted by the sources as saying.
Prof. Peiris during his almost two-hour briefing to the diplomats, said that the government wishes to have the international monitors within 48-hours of signing the agreement. He expressed hopes that they will reach the country within the next two days.
Foreign Minister Fernando thanked the international community for their extensive support rendered during the past three months especially with regard to the peace process.
Both ministers reiterated that Sri Lanka needs international assistance and encouragement to carry the process forward.
They highly commended the degree of professionalism of Norwegians in handling crucial issues in the process of getting the two sides to sign the agreement.
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