Press release from World Without War:
Speakers Corner (Clarke Quay MRT Exit A)
Saturday, 15 November 2008
5pm – 7pm
The civil war in Sri Lanka is one of the world’s deadliest ongoing armed conflicts, causing significant harm to the civilian population, environment and severe damage to the economy of the country. Now 25 years running, it has claimed at least 215,000 lives and displaced more than 1.5 million people.
The possibility of a lasting peace was raised when a cease-fire agreement was signed with international mediation in 2002. However on January 2, 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka formally announced unilateral withdrawal from the ceasefire agreement and since then, the conflict escalated to critical levels in recent months. Donor countries such as the United States, Canada, Norway and Japan have expressed deep regrets on this decision by the Sri Lankan government.
On September 9, 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka ordered all local and international aid agencies to leave the northern areas of conflict and take their equipment with them. UN agencies and international relief organisations including Oxfam, Save The Children and the Danish Refugee Council that have been delivering food and medical aid to nearly 200,000 refugees in the affected region have started to pull out.
History has demonstrated that such wars can never be won. The international community must take decisive steps to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka to abandon the path of militarism and opt for a negotiated political settlement. Our prompt intervention will avert the loss of many more precious lives.
Join us at Speakers Corner this Saturday, Nov 15 to light a candle and show your support for peace in Sri Lanka.