Former Irish Republican Army (IRA) chief of staff turned Northern Ireland deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, has expressed disappointment Sri Lanka chose war over peace to resolve the conflict.
Speaking at Dublin on Friday at a major pan-European peace and security conference, the former chief negotiator for the IRA said that the failure by the government and the LTTE to opt for peace led to the death of thousands of civilians.
“I had been involved in efforts to make progress in the conflict in Sri Lanka. And I want to take this opportunity to express my disappointment that the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil Tigers, both of whom I have met, were unable to build a genuine peace process, a fact which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamils and the continuing displacement of tens of thousands more in government-run holding camps,” he said.
The conference in Dublin was Ireland’s first ever hosting of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe conference held to discuss how Northern Ireland can be a model for other peace processes around the world.
“Dialogue, using new language and making new compromises to create trust are the seeds of a new future for us all. Sometimes in politics, compromise is a negative word,” McGuinness said when speaking on the Northern Ireland peace process. (Colombo Gazette)