Japan urges Sri Lanka to use tsunami to push for peace

Japan Tuesday urged Sri Lanka’s government and Tamil Tiger rebels to use the tsunami to unite and to push the Norwegian-backed peace process forward. Japan Tuesday urged Sri Lanka’s government and Tamil Tiger rebels to use the tsunami to unite and to push the Norwegian-backed peace process forward. Japan, the island’s largest foreign aid donor, said it expects the two parties who are currently observing a truce to revive peace talks which have remain deadlocked since April 2003.

“We hope the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) will use this situation to build mutual trust and confidence and make fresh progress in the peace process,” Japan’s senior vice minister for foreign affairs, Shuzen Tanigawa, told reporters.

He said Japan was willing to help Sri Lanka recover from the December 26 tsunamis that killed nearly 31,000 people and devastated nearly three quarters of the island’s coastline.

About two thirds of the fatalities are in the island’s north and east, parts of which are dominated by the Tiger rebels.

After initial cooperation between the government and Tigers over tsunami relief, a row