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Bern, Press release, 19.05.2009

The Swiss government welcomes the end of the armed conflict in the north of Sri Lanka. Switzerland deeply regrets that this conflict which has lasted for decades has caused countless deaths and that tens of thousands of internally displaced persons have been deprived of their livelihoods.

Switzerland regrets that international humanitarian law has been violated and appeals to all parties to comply with and to ensure respect for international regulations and obligations in all circumstances.  

Switzerland calls on Sri Lanka to grant rapid and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid to the distressed population, particularly for internally displaced persons. The work of the International Committee of the Red Cross, of United Nations bodies and of other humanitarian organisations in Sri Lanka must be made possible, in accordance with  international humanitarian law. 

Switzerland calls on all parties to refrain from incitement to hatred and to work towards reconciliation by means of unilateral or jointly agreed measures. All parties and groupings as well as members of the diaspora should work openly and in conjunction with international institutions to initiate a reconciliation process and a sustainable solution in the framework of a  political dialogue. 

Switzerland reiterates its willingness to provide support in the areas of humanitarian aid, humanitarian protection and the elaboration of institutional solutions for the protection of minorities.

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