Washington, DC, May 17, 2006 — Study Designed to Advance International Community’s Impact in Sri Lanka during Critical Time
Yesterday in Washington, The Asia Foundation and the World Bank convened Sri Lankan senior policy makers, conflict experts and members of the diplomatic community to introduce the study, Aid, Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, which analyzes the conflict in Sri Lanka since 2000 and the international response to it.
Sri Lanka is currently witnessing its worst period of violence since a ceasefire between the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan government – which has already seen over 3,000 violations – was agreed on four years ago. Approximately 200 Sri Lankans have been killed in the past month, putting the country in a fragile and precarious state.
Released in Colombo earlier this year, the study was designed to guide both diplomats and aid donors through impasses of the peace process, like the one we are witnessing today.
“This strategic conflict assessment is a timely and relevant document, which aims for better collaboration between diplomats and aid donors so we can effectively work together towards peace in Sri Lanka,” said Douglas Bereuter, President of The Asia Foundation. “We hope it will serve as a principal source of information for the international community during such a fragile time in the peace process.”
Upon other findings, Aid, Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka states that international assistance programs in Sri Lanka must be based on a sound and shared understanding of the conflict’s complexities, one which is lacking in today’s environment. Once that premise is reached, diverse forms and sources of international engagement – ceasefire monitoring, peace negotiations and development assistance – must be more strategic and coordinated.
“We in the World Bank are proud to be part of this multi-donor effort to better understand the dynamics of conflict in Sri Lanka,” said Ian Bannon, Manager of the Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit at the World Bank. “We believe that this shared analysis can help us do a better job of harmonizing our support with that of other international partners to assist the people of Sri Lanka.”
The conference featured Jon Hanssen-Bauer, Norwegian Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Sri Lanka; Jeffrey Lunstead, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka; Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Secretary to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Plan Implementation; Professor G.L. Peiris, Member of Parliament, United National Party in Sri Lanka; Gajen Ponnambalam, Member of Parliament, All Ceylon Tamil Congress in Sri Lanka; Ian Bannon, Manager of the Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit at The World Bank; and Nilan Fernando, The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative to Sri Lanka.