B. Muralidhar Reddy

Violence must stop, says the Sri Lankan President

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the envoys of Co-Chairs on Monday that his Government would be "compelled" to take appropriate counter measures if LTTE were to continue with "violent and provocative measures."

He said his Government was committed to a "negotiated settlement" and to make the Geneva peace talks "successful."

The Ambassadors Juergen Weerth (Germany), Kiyoshi Araki (Japan), Hans Brattskar (Norway), Robert O Blake (U.S.) and Julion Wilson (E.U.) discussed with Mr. Rajapaksa the progress towards the peace talks amid the heavy fighting in the northeast.

The Government said in a statement, "The meeting, which was held in a very cordial environment, enabled a very constructive and fruitful exchange of views on a number of relevant matters."

The statement said Mr. Rajapaksa hoped that the Co-Chair countries would be able to "persuade the LTTE to abandon their violent approach and return to negotiation."

"He emphasised that the Government would be compelled to take appropriate counter measures to ensure security if the LTTE were to continue with violent and provocative actions.

"The Co-Chairs expressed their firm support for the President's efforts to revive talks," it said

The envoys expressed "appreciation" for the President's initiative to establish a Commission of Inquiry and a Group of International Observers on human rights issues.