Send Special UN envoy to Sri Lanka, urges Canadian opposition leader Michael Ignatieff
27 February 2009
Michael Ignatieff is the leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, and was a commissioner in the 2001 ICISS report on The Responsibility to Protect. The press release urges UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon to send a special envoy to Sri Lanka to investigate the large scale loss of life and encourage inclusive political discussions.
I am deeply concerned about the continuing violence in Sri Lanka. Countless lives are being lost on a daily basis and more than 250,000 civilians are trapped on the frontline. An immediate ceasefire is needed now more than ever.
I urge both the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to work together to find every possible way to save lives and to further avert a humanitarian disaster. I also call on the international community to come together to work towards political reconciliation in Sri Lanka and to provide humanitarian assistance where it is needed. We have a responsibility to protect innocent civilians whose lives are at risk as a result of this military conflict.
In this regard, I urge United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to send a special envoy to Sri Lanka to find ways to ensure no further loss of life and to begin immediate discussions on the political future of the country involving all sectors of Sri Lankan society. There is no excuse for terrorism and attacks on civilians, and the world has to show its concern for the protection of the civilian population. ()
To see the letter signed by 38 members of the U.S. Congress to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, which warns of Sri Lankas red levels of displacement and risk for large scale loss of life, see:
1) Full text of the letter: http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28700
2) Source: http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28692