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Australia welcomes Sri Lankan presidential election result.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA143 26 November 2005

AUSTRALIA WELCOMES SRI LANKAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULT

I congratulate President Mahinda Rajapakse on his recent election as President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

The Australian Government regrets that participation in the election by Tamil voters in the north and east was very low due, according to reports from independent observers, to a campaign of intimidation by the LTTE.

I call on all parties to demonstrate their commitment to the peace process, including through taking necessary steps to enforce provisions of the ceasefire agreement and recommencing formal peace talks. In this context, I welcome President Rajapakse’s undertaking to engage in dialogue with the LTTE on these matters.

The Australian Government re-affirms its longstanding commitment to support, as appropriate, the pursuit of a just and sustainable peace that reflects the aspirations and interests of all Sri Lankans.

I look forward to working with the incoming President and Government of Sri Lanka to build on our warm bilateral relations, underpinned by links of history, migration, trade and investment, sport, culture and development assistance.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 0419 206 890 Chelsey Martin (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/