Donors warn Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers

TOKYO, May 30, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s key foreign aid donors warned the government and Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday that they must take steps to end growing unrest or risk losing international support. Donors led by Japan pledged 4.5 billion dollars in 2003 as an incentive for the island to end three decades of ethnic conflict, but more than 600 people have died since December in defiance of a ceasefire.

Japan, the European Union, Norway and the United States called on both Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to “take immediate steps to reverse the deteriorating situation and put the country back on the road to peace.”

“The solutions to the problem cannot be brought through conflict — the history of Sri Lanka shows that war is not winnable for either side and simply causes immense suffering to citizens,” they said a statement after talks here.

“The international community remains committed to its supporting role agreed three years ago, but it turns to the government and the LTTE to deliver on their side of the bargain if war is to be avoided.”

Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s peace envoy to Sri Lanka, said the donors wanted to employ a “carrot and stick” approach to jumpstart