France, Britain call for peace in Sri Lanka

France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner and Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband write in the Times of London today about what they have witnessed in Sri Lanka.

“We saw the situation for ourselves in Vavunja, close to the fighting, where we visited displaced Tamils and saw the newly arrived French field hospital. We heard stories of individual human tragedy: civilians forced by the LTTE not to leave its stronghold, deaths and injuries from bombs and artillery, and families separated, desperately seeking news of their loved ones – fears from the recent past, fears for their present situation and fear of what might happen in the future. ”

“People ask what does it have to do with us? As members of the UN Security Council we do not shy away from the responsibility of sovereign governments and the international community to protect civilians. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has joined us in describing the failure to protect civilians in Sri Lanka as truly shocking. Yesterday we took our plea direct to the Sri Lankan Government. In its moment of triumph it must show the humanity and self-interest to find a way to win the peace.”

Read the full article here.

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