28th May 2003
Working For A Peaceful Summer
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking today in Belfast has said that `there is a collective responsibility on the two governments and all political parties along with community, church and civic leaders to work together to ensure a peaceful summer'.
Mr Adams said:
``Sinn Fein's consistent position has been to ensure that the summer months are peaceful, particularly in interface areas. For example last year at a meeting in Hillsborough of the Implementation Group we proposed that the two governments and all the parties agree a common approach to tackling the issue of interface violence and sectarianism. Unfortunately this approach was not fully embraced and people living in interface areas had to endure a summer of violence.
``There is a deep concern within the community that the present political vacuum could be filled with the type of violence which caused so much devastation last summer.
``Our focus is to avoid this. Sinn Fein, locally and nationally, has engaged in a wide range of initiatives and attempts to ensure that we do not see a repeat of last years violence. We are holding meetings at both political and community levels.
``We are encouraging and backing attempts by local communities to resolve interface tensions.
`` All sections of society have a responsibility for these matters.
`` There is a collective responsibility on the two governments and all political parties along with community, church and civic leaders to work together to ensure a peaceful summer.
`` I welcome the meeting yesterday between the UUP and Loyalist leaders.
`` We recognise that there are many within the Unionist and Nationalist community who have, and are, working hard to ensure that we have a peaceful summer period. This is vital work, which needs to continue.
`` We also recognise that there are those who are intent on cynically manipulating the tensions during this period for their own political ends. This must not be allowed to happen.'' ENDS
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