Sri Lanka says Kosovo independence a threat to world peace

COLOMBO, Feb 17, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka said Sunday that Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia could set an “unmanageable precedent” and threaten world peace.

The Sri Lankan government, which is battling separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, reacted swiftly against Kosovo’s independence, which it said was a violation of the United Nations charter.

“This action by Kosovo is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations, which enshrines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states,” the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said Kosovo’s action “could set an unmanageable precedent in the conduct of international relations, the established global order of sovereign states and could thus pose a grave threat to international peace and security.”

Sri Lanka’s government is battling Tamil Tiger guerrillas who are fighting for independence for minority Tamil community in this majority Sinhalese nation of 19.5 million people.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Sri Lanka’s separatist conflict, which has dragged on for over 35 years and is Asia’s longest-running ethnic conflict. .