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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Sri Lanka's Broken Pacts & Evasive Proposals > The Thimpu Talks - July/August 1985 > Introduction > Initial cease fire proposal by Eelam National Liberation Front in April/May 1985 > Terms of cease-fire proposed by Indian Government Agencies > Joint response by Eelam National Liberation Front to cease-fire proposals, 18 June 1985 > Tamil Liberation Organisations refuse to participate in talks with Sri Lanka, 29 June 1985 > Diary of Phase I of Thimpu Talks, 8 July 1985 to 13 July 1985  > Joint Statement by Tamil Liberation Organisations on cease-fire violations by Sri Lanka, 9 July 1985 > First Proposal by Sri Lanka Delegation, 10 July 1985 > Joint Statement by Tamil Liberation Organisations, 12 July 1985 > Response by Sri Lanka Delegation, 13 July 1985 > The Thimpu Declaration,13 July 1985 > Opening statement by Sri Lanka delegation - Phase II - 12 August 1985 > Joint Response of Tamil Delegation, 13 August 1985 > Statement by Nadesan Satyendra on behalf of Tamil Delegation,14 August 1985 > Joint Statement by Tamil delegation on recognition of representative character, 15 August 1985 > Response of Sri Lanka delegation on recognition, 15 August 1985 > New Proposals by Sri Lanka Delegation, 16 August 1985 > Joint Response by Tamil Delegation to new proposals, 17 August 1985 > Joint Statement by Tamil Delegation immediately prior to walk out, 17 August 1985 > A Brief Note on the Thimpu Talks - David Selbourne, Oxford, August 1985 > S.Sivanayagam on the Thimpu Talks - The Sinhala- Tamil Conflict & the India Factor > Thimpu Declaration: The Path of Reason - Nadesan Satyendra, 1987

Thimpu Talks - July/August 1985

  Terms of cease-fire proposed by Indian Agencies

At the instance of India, the following secret four-phase plan for a cease-fire between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil militants took effect on June 18. The militants had alleged that the Sri Lankan armed forces and Government have violated the cease-fire; and there are counter-allegations. Despite this, some improvement of the situation on the ground 'had been noted by independent observers'. This is the text of the original secret agreement for the cease-fire, phase by phase, with a duration specified for each phase. "Secret talks" were to have come only in Phase IV, but in the actual event it was judged that the first round of the Thimpu talks should start earlier.


In order to create a congenial atmosphere for an acceptable political solution to the ethnic question in Sri Lanka, certain steps need to be taken by the Government of Sri Lanka on the one hand and Tamil militants on the other.

The following series of steps should be implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka on the one hand and Tamil militants on the other as indicated, over periods shown against each step. (viz).

Action to be taken by Sri Lankan Government (Government)

Reciprocal steps by militants (Militants)

Phase I: Start on June 18. - For three weeks

1 - Government

Government will lift restrictive legislation on use of roads and vehicles and suspend enforcement of the prohibited zone.

1 - Militants

Stop using the Prohibited Zone as staging area for carrying men and materials.

2 - Government

New settlements will be suspended.

2 - Militants

Stop attacks on civilians - both Sinhalese and Tamils - in the North, East and elsewhere.

3 - Government

Security forces will carry out cordon and searches and operations in the presence of local officials and magistrates.

3 - Militants

Cease attacks in the North, East and elsewhere on government offices, economic targets and private property.

4 - Government

Lift of Surveillance Zone and stop infusion of further resources to Armed Services and police establishments.

4 - Militants

Stop induction of men and material in the affected areas from outside Sri Lanka.

Phase II: Three weeks

1 - Government

Security forces will suspend raids and suspend curfews.

1 - Militants

Cease attacks in the North directed against convoys of security forces including police, establishments, mining of roads, rail tracks and bridges. Stop carrying of arms.

Phase II: Three weeks

1 - Government

Security forces will suspend raids and suspend curfews.

1 - Militants

Cease attacks in the North directed against convoys of security forces including police, establishments, mining of roads, railtracks and bridges. Stop carrying of arms.

Phase III: Two weeks

1 - Government

Observe curfew

1 - Militants

Observe curfew

2 - Government

Police stations which had been closed down will be reopened and the law and order function will be carried out by the police.

3 - Government

Amnesty will be declared and those in custody against whom charges have not been filed will be released. (Those who have been charged will be released after the conclusion of successful discussions).

Phase IV

Secret talks on substantive issues for reaching a political settlement to take place between the emissaries of the Government and representatives of the Tamil political leadership and Tamil militant groups. The venue of these talks could be a third country acceptable to both sides. Every effort should be made to maintain the secrecy of these talks and, in any case, of the course of the discussions. The search for a solid foundation for a political solution must be completed within a period of three months from the date of declaration of the cease-fire and the amnesty. Depending on the result of these secret talks, open and direct dialogue between the Government and the representatives of the Tamils can commence as soon as the necessary groundwork is considered to have been laid.

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