US urges quick end to Sri Lanka violence, rules out military solution

Jan 9, 2007 (AFP) – The United States Tuesday urged a speedy political solution to Sri Lanka’s separatist conflict as the island slipped into more violence, and warned that a military solution was not possible. “According to government estimates, 15,000 people are isolated without access to food or basic supplies, as stocks are decimated.” The US embassy here in a statement said it wanted the island’s ruling party as well as the main opposition to come up with a power-sharing plan that could be the basis for resuming stalled peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels.

“The solution in our view lies in a negotiated settlement that meets the aspirations of all of Sri Lanka’s communities — (majority) Sinhalese (and minority) Tamil, and Muslims,” the statement said.

“We reiterate that there can be no military solution to this conflict.”

More than 60,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist conflict in the past 35 years and diplomatic attempts to end the conflict politically have ended in failure.

Government troops and Tamil Tiger guerrillas have been trading attacks across the island’s embattled northern and eastern regions with over 3,800 people killed in the past year despite a truce i