www.sacw.net > Citizens Action & Ideas for Peace in South Asia | January 11, 2005

Urgent appeal to build a new peaceful Sri Lanka

[11 January 2005]

The response of individuals and organisations rushing to provide basic goods to the victims of the tsunami tragedy has been overwhelming. The statements of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Velupillai Pirapaharan indicate a willingness to cooperate in rebuilding the country.

International help has been swift to arrive with teams of emergency personnel quickly dispatched. A historic national response to the disaster has begun in earnest which we fully acknowledge.

In view of the magnitude of this disaster against the background of a twenty year old civil war, we appeal to the two principal parties and other stake holders to expand their cooperation on all humanitarian issues.

Recovering from such a tragedy requires an inclusive framework for disaster response. The enormous task ahead compels us to re-envision new political and administrative structures that can create the conditions for equitable power sharing and de-centralised governance.


1. We note that the Government and the LTTE has set up task forces to enhance, coordinate and streamline their relief efforts. We strongly urge them to cooperate closely together to pool their resources and to ensure their inclusivity.

2. We call on the task forces to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of aid based on the needs of affected areas and according to international guidelines for conflict-sensitive disaster management.

3. We acknowledge that the best practice of disaster management in other countries is to support and strengthen the capacities of local communities, local authorities and civil society organisations for sustainable relief and reconstruction.

4. We urge that in the light of the complex humanitarian response that is required, a new agreement on human security be reached between the two principal parties and other stakeholders that runs parallel to the CFA. The purpose of such an agreement is to facilitate the fullest cooperation between all stakeholders in ensuring the improvement of the humanitarian situation in all affected areas.

5. We urge that a comprehensive recovery plan is set in place which will explore new perspectives to link immediate responses to disaster with imperatives for sustainable development and durable peace.

6. We propose that in order to achieve this recovery plan an immediate conference be initiated, bringing together government, opposition parties, LTTE, Muslim political parties, international community, private sector and civil society.

Signatories: Sunila Abeysekera, Visaka Dharmadasa, Tyrol Ferdinands, Kumar Rupesinghe, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Jeevan Thiagarajah, Jayadeva Uyanagoda, Joe William, Norbert Ropers, Nicola Palmer, Prasanna Ratnayake, C. J. Amaratunge, Ranee Ratnayake, Mrs. Wijayaratnam, Fr. Jayakody, Sridhar Khatri, Sharmini Boyle, Priyadarshini, K. Wettasinghe, Chandani Herath, Austin Fernando, Chaminda Hettiarachchi, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Richard Dias, Nalin Attygalle, Susil Siriwardena, Desmond Fernando, T. Nadarasa, R. Nimalan Karthikeyan, Victor Ivan, Berty Ranaweera, Bandumala Wanniarachchi, Lalith Chandra, Fr. Damian Fernando, M. H. Sulaiman, Fr. Anura Perera, Dev Anand Ramiah, S. Ahangama, M. Ariyabandu, Seeta Wijewardena, Chaturika Wijesinghe, Mario de Alwis, S. A. C. M. Zuhyle, S. Jayanthi, Susan Romanski, P. P. Devaraj, Victoria Adams and Mario Gomez.

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