Sri Lanka Government
"Given the human political and economical consequences of military intervention the Government has called for intensified and early completion of on-going UN and other diplomatic efforts to ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Sri Lanka has always urged that Iraq should fully comply with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and respect its international commitments to avoid further escalation of tension in the region.
Since the adoption of the UN Secretary Council Resolution 1441, United Nations Weapons Inspectors and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Authority) inspectors have submitted two reports.
The first one on 27th January, and the second one on 14th February. The first report by the Inspectors mentioned that Iraq had cooperated with the inspection process but lacked in substantial cooperation. The second report indicated an increased level of cooperation on the part of Iraq, but vital questions remain unanswered and that Iraq has not been fully complying with the Security Council Resolutions 1441. A few days ago Iraq has acceded to some of the key requests of the inspectors such as :
1. Interviewing of Iraq scientists and technicians without the presence of the Iraqi officials.
2. Allowing of U2 reconnaissance flights over Iraqi territory.
3. Issuing of a Presidential decree prohibiting manufacture or import of weapons of mass destruction.
The third report of the Inspectors is expected to be submitted to the Security Council on 14th March 2003.
The Government has issued two communiqués one on the 28th January and the other one on 19th of February, on this issue.
The first was requesting Iraq to fully comply with the UN Security Council Resolution 1441. The Second one was about the meeting Hon.Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Employment and Labour and I had with Ambassadors of Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia to discuss the possibility of assisting our nationals in those countries. Our Ambassadors in the Middle - East too have been alerted.
I [Foreign Minister Toyn Fernando] am to participate at the NAM Summit which is to be held from 22nd to 25th February in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) along with Her Excellency the President [Chandrika Kumaratunga]. There will certainly be discussions and resolutions on this issue. As you are aware we have always been committed to the policy of non-alignment.
The Government fervently hope that Iraq fully comply with the substance of the Resolution as well. This we believe would help in avoiding a major catastrophe which would bring upon her people, as well as to avert further tension in the Middle-Eastern Region and indeed the whole world."
- Statement on the situation in Iraq, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo, February 20, 2003.
"The Government of Sri Lanka has studied the reports submitted by the UN Weapons Inspection Team to the UN Security Council on 27th January 2003.
The Government takes note of the statement by the Chief UN Weapons Inspector that while Iraq is cooperating in the inspection process, further vital questions remain unanswered and that, therefore, there has not been full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
The Government of Sri Lanka, therefore, requests Iraq to fully comply with the Resolution.
Given the human political and economical consequences of military intervention, the Government calls for intensified and early completion of on-going UN and other diplomatic efforts to ensure a peaceful resolution of the question."
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo, January 28, 2003.