Canada calls for ceasefire in Sri Lanka

OTTOWA, Aug 15, 2006 (AFP) – Canada called Tuesday for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and a resumption of peace negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Tamil Tigers. “Canada believes that there can be no military solution to this lengthy conflict,” Foreign Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement.

“We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to negotiations.”

McKay expressed concern about the escalation of hostilities in Sri Lanka between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The latest round of fighting in the decades-old conflict flared last month in the eastern part of this Indian Ocean island and has intensified and spread, including to the northern Jaffna peninsula.

The fighting, which has claimed more than 150 lives, is the deadliest since a Norway-brokered ceasefire in 2002. Norway-brokered ceasefire in 2002.
“Canada continues to actively support the efforts of the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference in support of the Sri Lankan peace process, as well as the indispensable work of the Norwegian facilitator,” the foreign minister said.