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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > April
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 14, 2003


Washington Seminar on Sri Lanka Hosted by Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage

Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage today hosted an international seminar on Sri Lanka at the Department of State. The seminar brought together representatives from 26 countries and 16 international organizations for discussions on the Sri Lanka peace negotiations and how international assistance for development and reconstruction can reinforce and strengthen the peace process in Sri Lanka. The Washington seminar was a prelude to the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka to be hosted by Japan in June.

In his remarks opening the seminar, Deputy Secretary Armitage expressed strong United States support of the peace process and his appreciation that both sides have made a firm commitment to the process. He also commended the government’s sweeping economic reform program. Sri Lankan Minister Moragoda, Norwegian State Secretary Helgesen, and Japanese Government Representative Akashi made presentations, and the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and United States Agency for International Development briefed on Sri Lanka’s economic situation and development needs.

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam began formal peace negotiations in September 2002 after nearly 20 years of civil conflict. Though hard decisions and large obstacles remain, the process is making progress. The international community is working to strengthen the cause of peace by supporting the effort at economic renewal and bringing development to war ravaged communities. The United States hopes the negotiating process will lead to a permanent end to the Sri Lankan conflict based on the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, and territorial integrity of the nation.


Released on April 14, 2003

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