[Sinn Fein]

10 August 2001

Sinn Fein response to suspension of the institutions

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP responding to the decision of John Reid to suspend the institutions said it is a complete breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr. Adams said:

``Today's decision to suspend the institutions is clearly the result of a deal between the British government and the Ulster Unionist Party.  The unionists have either withdrawn or delayed their threatened withdrawal of ministers in return for a suspension of the institutions.  It is in complete breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

``This is the second time in 18 months that the British government has given in to the unionist veto.  They should be aware of the impact this has on nationalist and republican confidence in the stability of institutions.

``Suspension runs totally contrary to the two governments package of last week.

``We are where we are today because 10 months ago David Trimble set out a clear strategy aimed at creating a crisis, blaming the SDLP and Sinn Fein, and aimed at achieving the suspension of the institutions.  Their goal is the renegotiation of the Agreement.  In the time ahead the unionists will be seeking the dilution of the Agreement.  Today's decision is an encouragement to the DUP and UUP that such dilution and renegotiation is acceptable.

``The British government have rewarded Mr. Trimble for his intransigence and opposition to real change.

``Four our part the Good Friday Agreement is the only blueprint for the future.  Sinn Fein will not tolerate the rights and entitlements of the people of Ireland being subject to the unionist veto.  These are rights and entitlements, not bargaining chips to be doled out at the behest of David Trimble or the British government.

``Today's decision is a body blow to the Agreement.  The nationalist and republican community will not only be angered by the suspension, but will be concerned that their rights and entitlements as outlined under the terms of the Agreement are once again being undermined by unionist and British government bad faith.''

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