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Saturday 1 January 2005

Call for inclusive framework and a new agreement

31st December Colombo : At a meeting held in Colombo today several leading civil society initiatives came together to appeal for an inclusive framework for disaster response. Their recommendations included a call for ‘fair and equitable dissemination of aid’ in keeping with ‘international guidelines for conflict sensitive disaster management.’

Since relief efforts began last Sunday afternoon, this appeal is the first effort to look at relief efforts from a conflict sensitive angle. This is specially important when considering the fact that many of the areas affected by the Tsunami have already been devastated by 20 years of civil conflict.

The most significant recommendation made by the group is for a new ‘agreement on human security’ between the Government and the LTTE. The recommended new agreement would run parallel to the ceasefire agreement which has been in place for almost three years. It would ‘ensure that all restrictions imposed on parties should be reconsidered in order to guarantee effective multi-party participation’. While such an agreement would certainly assist the aid efforts, especially in the LTTE held areas along the Eastern coast, it is highly unlikely that the anti-LTTE groups are going to view it favourably.

There have not yet been any responses to the recommendations or the appeal.

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