Sri Lanka Donor Conference Emphasizes Hope, Urgency
Joint Press Conference by the Co-Chairs, Sri Lanka Donors' Conference
June 10, 2003
DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: I have not much to add to this morning's proceedings other than to echo what Minister Peiris said about the international community calling on the LTTE to resume negotiations immediately.
QUESTION: My name is Dawn (phonetic). I work for NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation. My question is to His Excellency Mr. Zepter and Mr. Richard Armitage.
The international community today has pledged $4.5 billion to Sri Lanka. Please comment upon what does this imply in terms of international support to conflict resolution; and despite repeated calls, the LTTE has not participated. How do you interpret this situation and what are you planning to do about this? I would appreciate it if you could comment from your respective positions as well as members of the international community. Thank you.
ARMITAGE: I think that the international community is showing, by the strength of the pledges here, that they are making a bet. They're betting that the people of Sri Lanka can show the world a way to conflict resolution that will lead to a multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy, taking its proper place in the community of nations. That's what the international community, I believe, is saying. Regarding the reasons for the no-show of the LTTE, as my colleague has indicated, who can know whether it's a sign of their lack of confidence, the ability to work with the international community, or whether it's a sign of internal divisions and a lack of clarity in their own aims--which I personally suspect, but cannot know for sure.