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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

Introduction


Inside the Meeting Hall - Phase 1 of Talks
Tamil Delegation on Left and Sri Lanka Delegation on Right

In June 1985, at the initiative of the Government of India, the leaders of the Tamil militant movements which were engaged in an armed struggle for the establishment of a separate Tamil Eelam state in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka, agreed to a 'cease-fire' as a preliminary step to creating a 'congenial' atmosphere for 'peace talks'. Phase I of the talks commenced on 8th July 1985 and concluded on 13th July 1985. Phase II of the talks commenced on 12th August 1985 and concluded on 17th August 1985. The venue of the talks was Thimpu, the capital city of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

The Tamil Delegation consisted of representatives from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Eelam Revolutionary Organisation (EROS), Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam PLOTE) and Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). The LTTE, EPRLF, TELO and EROS were also constituent members of the Eelam National Liberation Front.

thimpuoutside.jpg (21375 bytes)
Lawrence Thilagar, LTTE in centre
in front of the Meeting Hall in Bhutan

In Phase I of the talks Mr.Anton and Mr. Lawrence Thilagar represented the LTTE.

Mr.A.Varadarajah Perumal and Mr.L.Ketheeswaran represented EPRLF.

Mr.Charles Antonidas and Mr.Mohan represented TELO.

Mr. Rajee Shankar and Mr.E.Ratnasabapathy represented EROS.

PLOTE was represented by Mr.Vasudeva and Mr.Dharmalingam.Sitharthan.

The TULF delegates were Mr.M.Sivasithamparam, Mr.A.Amirthalingam and Mr.R.Sampanthan.

In Phase II there was one change in the composition of the Tamil delegation - Mr.Nadesan Satyendra and Mr.Charles Antonidas represented TELO.

The Thimpu negotiations represented a watershed in the Tamil Eelam struggle for more reasons than one.

Firstly, the recognition accorded to the armed resistance movement by both the Sri Lankan government and the Indian government and the open participation of the representatives of the armed resistance at negotiations with accredited representatives of the Sri Lankan government, furthered the legitimisation of the armed struggle of the Tamil people in the international arena.

Secondly, the Declaration made by the Tamil delegation at Thimpu, which has come to be known as the Thimpu Declaration, and the statement made by Nadesan Satyendra at the Talks on 14 August 1985 and the Joint Response of the Tamil Delegation on 17 August 1985, served to crystallise the central issues of the Tamil struggle and provide a mobilising platform for the continuation of the struggle.

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