|Security Council Debate on the Situation in the Middle East|
|Thursday, 15 October 2009 08:41|
Ambassador Palitha Kohona
Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka
at the Security Council Debate on the Situation
in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question
14th October 2009
I thank you for giving us the opportunity to once again focus on the situation in the Middle East, particularly, the Palestinian question, a question that has occupied the attention of this Council for a long time. Sri Lanka has consistently supported a peaceful settlement to the Palestinian issue and called for the implementation of UN General Assembly Resolutions regarding the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to statehood and the realization of the two State solution. Our sincere wish is that Israel, Palestine and their other neighbours could coexist in peace and harmony. As a country that suffered much at the hands of unbridled violence unleashed by terrorism, Sri Lanka knows only too well the human and material cost of such violence that can impede political solutions. We have consistently endorsed the two State solution to the problem – a peaceful Middle East is our wish for the people of the region.
My Govt., it may be recalled, expressed its deep anguish and concern over the developments that took place in Gaza late last year and in the early part of this year. A situation that led to a further loss of civilian life and an increase of tensions in the region and unnecessary suffering by civilians. Sri Lanka is fully aware through its own experience of providing for and supplying civilians affected by conflict due to terrorist violence. At that time, my Govt. called upon all parties to ensure a climate conducive to finding a way forward towards the two State solution which is agreed to by all concerned, including Israel and Palestine as the only lasting solution. In spite of those unfortunate circumstances earlier this year, my Govt. was pleased to note the several important developments on the ground since then and continued international efforts to create the conditions for the early resumption of negotiations by Israel and Palestine, this gave us reason to renew our hope for a peaceful solution.
It is our sincere hope that the issues before the Council today will be addressed in a just and equitable manner that will not obstruct the search for peace. I believe we will have further opportunity to discuss these issues at the forthcoming sessions of the Human Rights Council. We believe that at this time the unity of the Palestinian people is of utmost importance and that they will unite in pursuance of their aspirations.
Sri Lanka wishes to reiterate its support for the Palestinian quest for their legitimate, human and national rights. The Govt. and people of Sri Lanka would like to reassure you of our continued support and solidarity with them.
Thank you Mr. President.