Sri Lanka says Kosovo decision a threat to nations

A man celebrates Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in New York February 17, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka, fighting a 25-year insurgency by Tamil separatists, said it was concerned about Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence as it could set a precedent in other parts of the world and hurt nations.

“The Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo could set an unmanageable precedent in the conduct of international relations, the established global order of sovereign States and could thus pose a grave threat to international peace and security,” the Foreign ministry said in a statement.

Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamils in the east and north of the island. More than 70,000 people have been killed since 1983.

Colombo has vowed to crush the rebels militarily.

“This action by Kosovo is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations, which enshrines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States,” the statement said.

Kosovo Albanians declared independence on Sunday, confidently awaiting Western recognition for their state despite the anger its secession provoked in Serbia and Russia’s warnings of fresh Balkan unrest.

China has also expressed concern.

Sri Lanka also said the Kosovo declaration was made without the consent of the majority of the people of Serbia and was a violation of the charter of the United Nations.