Nobel Peace Laureate Calls For Ceasefire and Nonviolent Solution to the Conflict in Syria
PRESS RELEASE – 26 Feb 2012
From Belfast, N. Ireland
“It is with the greatest sadness that the world witnesses the tremendous ongoing suffering and death of so many people in Syria. We convey our deepest sympathy to all those who have lost loved ones and/or been injured in the nightmare being experienced by the Syrian people.
“In order to end this suffering we call upon President Assad and all opposition groups that are using violence to end all hostilities, call an immediate ceasefire, and enter an unconditional, all-inclusive dialogue and negotiations to solve the economic, social and political problems. Also to implement political reforms thereby respecting the voices of the Syrian people for political change.
“Violence by the Syrian military forces will not solve the crisis but only cause more bloodshed and death putting at risk the lives of more children, women and men caught up in this tragedy of violent conflict and war in their country.
“The international community should resist all calls for foreign military intervention as it is not a solution but part of the problem as we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
“The only people who can solve Syrian problems are the Syrians themselves. The international community must insist that all international and human rights laws be upheld by the Syrian government and that they enter a dialogue with all opposition groups whose voices have a right to be heard and not ‘silenced’ by persecution, torture and/or killings.
“It is time for President Assad, his government and the international community to finally admit that militarism, armed resistance, and ignoring human rights and international laws only fuels the fires of hatred, war and cruelty. The only way to solve problems is by insisting upon dialogue and the politics of inclusiveness, including the voices of women.”
Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Mar 2012.
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