The United States and other donor countries do not support a military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka, US Ambassador Robert Blake said just days after Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa was quoted as saying the LTTE would have to be dealt with militarily.
Ambassador Blake expressed these views during a ceremony at Orugodawatte on Wednesday while handing over US Agency for International Development (USAID) food assistance worth US$ 5 million to Sri Lanka. `The US and other donor countries do not support a military solution to the conflict. We believe the solution lies in a negotiated settlement that meets the aspirations of all of communities of Sri Lanka,` the US envoy said.
He said there was still a good opportunity with the All Parties Representatives Committee process to reach a negotiated settlement but added that all other parties needed to work together to achieve a power sharing proposal that would meet the needs of all communities in Sri Lanka.
`We see that as the way forward,` Ambassador Blake said.
At a ceremony held at the Trincomalee Naval Headquarters on Monday, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the country could achieve permanent peace only through defeating terrorism militarily.
`We cannot establish permanent peace in the country by winning only half or two thirds of the war against terrorism,` the Defence Secretary said while adding that the Security Forces were committed to achieve this task without passing the burden of war to the next generation.
Meanwhile LTTE political head S.P. Thamilselvan told the Tamil Net website on Wednesday the LTTE was patient and restricting itself to a `defensive` war and wanted the International Community to realize the futility of achieving peace by dealing with such a government.
`The LTTE requests the International Community not to be carried away by the deceitful programme of the Sri Lankan government and to stop every form of aid, to pressure the government to create an environment for peace efforts,` Mr. Thamilselvan said.