Co-chairs to discuss JM in Washington tomorrow
The co-chairs of the Tokyo donor conference are to meet in Washington tomorrow to discuss, among other things, the proposed Post-Tsunami Operations Management Structure (P-TOMS).

Nick Burns, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs is to take over the chairmanship of the co-chair group from former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

Violations of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), especially the recent spate of killings, and the status of the peace process will also be taken up at the meeting, diplomatic sources said. They said the possibility of accommodating India as one of the co-chairs may also be taken up during the meeting.

These sources said that the US was expected to push for stronger measures against the LTTE to abide by the ceasefire agreement. This was one of the issues Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar discussed with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when he met her in Washington earlier this month.

Mr. Kadirgamar drew attention to paragraph 18 of the Tokyo Declaration endorsed by some 51 countries in June 2003 that pledged assistance to the reconstruction of the country, particularly the North and East, and said the international community should press the LTTE to remain committed to the principles enunciated in that document. They include adherence to the ceasefire, permitting democratic dissent, preventing violations of human rights, ensuring the interests of the Muslims and eventual disarmament.

Dr. Rice had said the US remained strongly committed to ensuring that these principles were adhered to, and the framework evolved should be one that would bring democracy to the entire country. Japan's special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi and Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgessen will attend the meeting. The European Union is the other co-chair.

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