[Sinn Fein]

27th August 2002

Ó Snodaigh hits out at Batasuna suspension

Sinn Fein spokesperson on International Affairs Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh today hit out at the suspension of Batasuna describing it as anti-democratic and entirely counter-productive. He said that the closing down of Batasuna's offices, banning of it's public rallies and preventing the party from standing in next years local elections will make the task of building peace all the more difficult. 

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

`` Today's decision to suspend Batasuna is anti-democratic and entirely counter-productive. Not only will it not resolve this long running conflict it will make the task of building peace all the more difficult.

``There is no one blue-print for conflict resolution but international experience has shown that the only way that progress will occur is through inclusive dialogue based on equality and respect. It is crucial that channels of communication are kept open even in the most difficult of circumstances.

``The international community have a important role to play in this regard by exercising good will and influence and by actively seeking and encouraging dialogue and agreement.''

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