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Kumaratunga too takes a dig at US
Suman Guha Mozumder at the United Nations | September 22, 2004 09:34 IST
In an apparent dig at US military intervention in Iraq, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Tuesday said Colombo does not believe that war is a solution to quell terrorism anywhere in the world, and as such it would not send peacekeepers to Baghdad.
"Generally, we strongly believe that use of force will not be any solution to any conflict at all. Our concept of conflict resolution is one that strongly advocates negotiations and dialogue, because we believe every conflict has a deeprooted cause," Kumaratunga said, in response to a question from this correspondent at a press conference.
"The expression of the conflict may take the most horrendous terroristic form, but we believe there are justified reasons for it," Kumaratunga said. "Violence cannot be and should not be accepted by the world, but we have to address the root causes in order to find solutions for this. Using violence against terrorists is not going to resolve anything."
Kumaratunga said that she felt terrorism may be the extreme, unacceptable expression of a justified and perceived injustice by a group of people. "May be some people base themselves on this and misuse it for terrorist means, as happens in Sri Lanka. But that does not mean you can separate the causes of that conflict from the manner in which it is expressed through terrorist acts."
She said the world needs to sift the acts of violence from the real causes of terrorism and violence, and begin to address the causes. "There is no better organisation than the UN to begin to do this. If the UN can start looking at those causes in the Arab world, perhaps we can deal with Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein more effectively."
Talking about the situation in Sri Lanka, Kumaratunga said though the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has not returned to the negotiating table, it has reiterated its commitment not to go back to war. She said the LTTE has also indicated, for the first time, that it is willing to look at a federal solution within a united Sri Lanka, rather than the separate state it has been insisting on all these years.
The positive aspect, Kumaratunga said, is that there is progress. "After all, the process has not started moving backward. We have a lot of support from various countries, including India."