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Military solution in Sri Lanka would not bring peace - Timor pres
chaindavid | February 11, 2009 at 01:42 pmby
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Military solution in Sri Lanka would not bring peace - Timor president [ Wednesday, 11 February 2009, 11:49.08 AM GMT +05:30 ] East Timors president warned Monday that a military solution in Sri Lanka would not bring peace unless it was accompanied by dialogue between the government and the Tamil Tiger insurgents. Jose Ramos-Horta, who shared the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize with Bishop Carlos Belo for leading a nonviolent struggle against the Indonesian occupation, offered to help the country achieve a settlement. Sri Lankas 25-year-old conflict has cost tens of thousands of lives. Battles intensified in recent months and government forces claim they are near to defeating the Tamil Tigers rebels after taking all but a tiny portion of their de facto state.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said last week he expected the war to end within days, and many analysts agree the military is as close as its ever been to victory. "Those who speak glibly of an end to conflict, however, show little understanding of history, human nature or what constitutes real peace." Ramos-Horta said in a statement. "Civil war generates frightening emotions of hatred and revenge that are immensely destructive."
East Timor was devastated by years of jungle warfare until it broke from Jakarta in 1999 after 24 years of foreign domination. A fifth of the population, or roughly 200,000 people, are believed to have died from military operations, disease and starvation. "There will be no long term peace in Sri Lanka if this war is prosecuted by either side to the bitter end without regard to human dignity," Ramos-Horta said