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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Tsunami & Aftermath > Sri Lanka Peace Process: Role of the International Community - Jayantha Dhanapala

President Kumaratunge
& Mr.Jayantha Dhanapala in US 
September 2005
A Search for Justice
or Power?

CONTENTS
OF THIS SECTION

Last updated
12/07/07

1. Sri Lanka Peace Process: Role of the International Community - Jayantha Dhanapala - US Congessional Briefing, 8 September 2005
2. Response to Jayantha Dhanapala - Victor Rajakulendran from Australia
3. Dhanapala: Defending the Indefensible - Ana Pararajasingham from Australia
4. International Community and Sri Lanka: Playing a Modest Hand Better  - Teresita C. Schaffer, US Congressional Briefing, 8 September 2005
5.Sri Lanka Peace Process: Problems & Prospects - Jayantha Dhanapala at Asia Society, 12 September 2005
6. Main Stream Exrtremism - Peace Process faces Difficult Future - Tamil Guardian, 12 September 2005
7. ஜயந்த தனபாலவின் குற்றச்சாட்டுக்கள்
8. For Larger Freedoms: Pursuit of Peace in Sri Lanka -  President Chandrika Kumaratunga at Asia Society, New York,14 September 2005
9.At the United Nations General Assembly:  President Chandrika Kumaratunga -on Vulnerable Democracies & Terrorism, 15 September 2005

10. Recognising the Lankan Peace Process? Role of the International Community - LTTE Peace Secretariat, 16 September 2005

11. An embodiment of antimony - Thamilchelvan on Kumaratunga's speeches in New York, 17 September 2005

Norwegian Peace Initiative

Sri Lanka Peace Process: Role of the International Community

Jayantha Dhanapala,
Secretary General, Secretariat for Coordinating Peace Process
& Senior Adviser to the President of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Caucus: US Congressional Briefing, 8 September 2005

"A Sri Lanka caucus was formed in the House of Representatives in 1998. The caucus seems to be a cheerleader for the Sri Lankan government, and it periodically issues statements praising the government and condemning the LTTE. These statements, which often bear little resemblance to reality in the country, appear in the headlines of Colombo’s newspapers the next day..." Miriam Young, Executive director of the Asia Pacific Center for Justice and Peace and the coordinator of the U.S. NGO Forum on Sri Lanka, 2000

Comment by tamilnation.org: "Mr.Dhanapala's  wide ranging Briefing to the US Congress Sri Lanka Caucus merits attention notwithstanding Miriam Young's characterisation of the Caucus as a 'cheer leader for the Sri Lankan government'. The briefing merits attention for more reasons than one. For one thing,  Mr.Dhanapala's appointment as Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat was welcomed by the opposition United National Party and had its support. For another, the briefing is of interest not only for that which Mr.Dhanapala said but also for that which he did not say. It is not without significance that in a Briefing on  'Sri Lanka Peace Process: Role of the International Community' Mr.Dhanapala (unlike Ms. Teresita Schaffer) makes no explicit reference to India.


Thank you for the privilege of addressing this Congressional gathering.

It is a pleasure to be back in Washington, DC - a city I first visited as an 18 year old and where later I served six and a half years as a professional diplomat including a term as Ambassador of Sri Lanka.

I am here today at a sad and sombre time for both our countries. I would like to express my deep sympathy and sincere solidarity with the people of the United States and especially with those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, who have experienced death and destruction due to hurricane Katrina. In my own country, the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26th last year took over thirty thousand lives, displaced one million people and caused enormous destruction to infrastructure, property and livelihoods.

Sri Lanka is yet recovering from this natural disaster of unprecedented magnitude, but the task of recovery and reconstruction has been made easier by the assistance so generously provided by the international community, including the government and people of the USA.

In our own modest way Sri Lanka has made a donation to the victims of Katrina as a gesture symbolizing a spontaneous bonding between peoples in humanitarian crises as well as the close and traditional ties between two democracies.

I am here to speak to you on the “Sri Lanka Peace Process and the Role of the International Community”, at a crucial moment in Sri Lanka’s peace process, less than a month after the premeditated and diabolically planned assassination of Sri Lanka’s former Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, which on the basis of the investigations carried so far, unmistakably points to the culpability of the LTTE.

Evidence so far gathered shows that days prior to the assassination LTTE cadres were apprehended carrying out surveillance on the Minister’s private residence, the accomplices of the assassins were carefully cultivated at different layers of the organization, duress had been used to force them to cooperate and that in May 2005 they had travelled to Kilinochchi and met the LTTE hierarchy including one Charles - an intelligence chief of the LTTE responsible for operations in the south of Sri Lanka.

Let me begin with the Government of Sri Lanka’s (GOSL’s) policy in relation to the peace process and its engagement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) before the assassination of Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar. That policy has had elements of continuity through the two decades of conflict, spanning changes of government through democratic elections. More recently, a firm commitment to the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of 2002 with its Nordic-staffed monitoring mission; the objective of a politically negotiated solution; the retention of the Royal Norwegian Government as the facilitator; adherence to the principles of the Oslo Decision of 2 December 2002, where the GOSL and the LTTE signed an agreement to explore a solution based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka; the Tokyo Declaration; and the infrastructural support of the Peace Secretariat, were the elements of continuity between the previous United National Front Government and the United People’s Freedom Alliance Government elected in April 2004.

Comment: Mr.Dhanapala's assertion about 'elements of continuity' between the previous United National Front Government and the United People’s Freedom Alliance Government elected in April 2004  appears to fly in the face of the facts.

On 1 March 2002, in a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Kumaratunga complained that she was not properly consulted before Wickremesinghe committed the Colombo government to a ceasefire with the LTTE.  Additionally she criticised the powers given to Norway through a monitoring mission to demarcate "lines of control" within Sri Lanka that would separate government-held areas and rebel-held areas - and this was a matter that went to the root of the Cease Fire Agreement.

Again, On 1 November 2003, the European Union welcomed the ISGA proposals (submitted by the LTTE)  as "an important step forward in the peace process". The US Embassy in Colombo declared that it " has taken note of the LTTE's delivery of counterproposals made in response to the Sri Lankan Government's interim administration proposal for the North and East" and urged "both parties to build on this step by resuming negotiations in a timely manner..."

But, President Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) rejected the ISGA proposals and on 4 November 2003, within days of the LTTE  proposal, the President in the exercise of powers vested in her under the 1978 constitution took over from the UNF government which enjoyed a majority in Parliament, the Ministries of Defense, Interior and Media, which were directly linked to the peace process, and assigned the  portfolios either to herself or to nominees from within her party. The  actions of  President Kumaratunga resulted in the facilitator, the Norwegian Government suspending its role in November 2003, in view of the lack of clarity in regard to who was responsible for the peace process.

By using the felicitous phrase 'elements of continuity', Mr. Dhanapala  seeks to gloss over the fundamental issue that has confronted conflict resolution in the island of Sri Lanka for the past several decades  - an issue which Professor Marshall Singer pointed out  ten years ago to the  US Congress Committee on International Relations -

"...One of the essential elements that must be kept in mind in understanding the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is that, since 1958 at least, every time Tamil politicians negotiated some sort of power-sharing deal with a Sinhalese government - regardless of which party was in power - the opposition Sinhalese party always claimed that the party in power had negotiated away too much. In almost every case - sometimes within days - the party in power backed down on the agreement..."

It is a view  reiterated by Professor Neil Devotta, ten years later in From ethnic outbidding to ethnic conflict: the institutional bases for Sri Lanka's separatist war -

"...Beginning in the mid-1950s Sri Lanka's politicians from the majority Sinhalese community resorted to ethnic outbidding as a means to attain power and in doing so systematically marginalised the country's minority Tamils...parties in power seek to promote dubious conflict resolution only to be checkmated by the respective opposition which typically claims that the proposed solutions are bound to eventually dismember the island.."

At the same time engagement with the LTTE was based on the expectation that this militant group would abandon the terrorism and violence of the past and would gradually move into the democratic mainstream in the same way as other groups including minority Tamil rebel groups had done in Sri Lanka and other groups elsewhere in the world, have done.

Comment: Mr.Dhanapala obfuscates when he fails to draw a distinction between violence and terrorism. The war on Iraq was a violent act but (whatever its legitimacy) it was not by itself an act of terror. Admittedly, a resort to arms must be truly a last resort. The question is when is enough, enough? After the Sinhala pogrom against the Tamils in 1958, Tarzie Vittachi, a distinguished Sinhala journalist with an international reputation asked:  "What are we left with? A nation in ruins, some grim lessons which we cannot afford to forget and a momentous question: Have the Sinhalese and Tamils reached the parting of ways?" Forty seven years later, Mr.Dhanapala and the Government he represents may also want to consider the conclusion reached by  Paul Sieghart Q.C. in his  Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists in March1984 -   ".. Communal riots in which Tamils are killed, maimed, robbed and rendered homeless are no longer isolated episodes; they are beginning to become a pernicious habit." [see 1958, 1961, 19741977 and 1983]

Here the views expressed by UNESCO International Conference of Experts, Barcelona in 1998  may also be helpful -

"...In all regions of the world conflicts turn violent over the desire for full control by state governments, on the one hand, and claims to self-determination (in a broad sense) by peoples, minorities or other communities, on the other. Where governments recognise and respect the right to self-determination, a people can effectuate it in a peaceful manner. Where governments choose to use force to crush or prevent the movement, or where they attempt to impose assimilationist policies against the wishes of a people, this polarises demands and generally results in armed conflict. The Tamils, for example, were not seeking independence and were not using violence in the 1970s. The government response to further deny the Tamil people equal expression of their distinct identity led to armed confrontation and a war of secession..."

Mr.Dhanapala's glib reference to the 'democratic mainstream' raises questions which any person truly concerned with progressing the peace process will need to confront - and not simply paper over. What is the 'democratic mainstream' towards which the LTTE should 'gradually move'?  Rule by a permanent ethnic majority within the confines of an unitary state is no 'democratic' mainstream. The fifty year record  in Sri Lanka shows the consequences of that 'democratic' rule. Mr.Dhanapala  and the Government he seeks to serve with distinction may want to meaningfully address the concerns expressed by Professor Margaret Moore in 2001:

"...One of the most pressing problems in societies with severe divisions and this may be true of ethnic, linguistic, religious, national or ideological divisions is the problems that they pose for normal electoral (democratic) politics...In this situation, the basic conditions for responsible democracy are not met. ... in a well­functioning democracy, the outvoted minority will respect the majority decision in the expectation that, at some later time, they will be part of a winning coalition and will require minority compliance. ... (and) a majority will tend to refrain from upsetting the minority because they anticipate that they will be in need of majority self-restraint when they are converted to minority status .. This dynamic does not occur in a state in which different national communities consistently vote for nationally aligned parties -  there is no outlet for minority disaffection; there is no moderating influence on minority demands; and no mechanisms, at least internal to the democratic system, to prevent the majority from oppressing the minority..."

Consequently confidence building measures were unilaterally pursued by the GOSL without demanding any reciprocal gestures. Interaction with foreign governments by the LTTE was encouraged in the hope that this exposure would broaden the thinking of a group wedded to a weapon-based culture.

Comment:  Here, it appears that Mr.Dhanapala chooses to be economical with the truth. The CFA did provide reciprocal steps in confidence building at each progressive step in time. The failure of Sri Lanka to implement that which was agreed, remains a bone of contention between the signatories to the CFA. Again the international community  is well aware that the LTTE interaction with foreign governments took place not with Sri Lanka's 'encouragement' but with its reluctant acquiescence.

The Kadirgamar assassination is the worst of a series of ceasefire violations. It is the most high profile assassination since the ceasefire came into force and is no doubt an outrage and a grave setback to the peace process.

Comment:  What is high profile and what is 'most high profile' will ofcourse remain a matter of opinion.  Mr.Dhanapala's remarks may have had a more balanced ring if he had referred to the UN Secretary General's condemnation of the killing of E.Kaushalyan, who played a role no  less important for the people living in the NorthEast than that of Lakshman Kadirgamar for those in the Sinhala South.

 "The  UN Secretary-General condemns the killings of Mr. E. Kaushalyan, (8 February 2005) a senior political leader of the LTTE Eastern Province Division, and several colleagues travelling with him, when their vehicle came under attack yesterday evening. He extends his sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of all the victims of these callous killings. The Secretary-General urges all parties to exercise calm and restraint so as to avoid actions that could disrupt the Cease-fire Agreement of February 2002 or the long-term interest of peace in Sri Lanka."

Not much may be gained at the present time by considering whether the murder of E.Kaushalyan was 'an outrage and a grave set back to the peace process'. However, the fact that the LTTE continued with the ceasefire despite that killing may be of some significance.

It is also one of hundreds of killings carried out by the LTTE after the CFA was signed, as part of its unabated policy to eliminate all political dissent.

Comment: Mr.Dhanapala allegation of 'hundreds' of killings does not appear to be founded on evidence of any kind. The use of hyperbole does not advance reason. Be that as it may, it may be helpful if Mr.Dhanapala had commented on the views widely held in Sri Lanka that its intelligence agencies (with the help of India's RAW, amongst others) have sought to secure intelligence of LTTE activities with a view to undermining the armed strength of the LTTE - an armed strength which  led to the ceasefire  and which also serves to underpin the peace process. Here, we have in mind the matters stated in யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் 'றோ'வின் கண்கள் and the remarks of S.Sivakumaran in  Pigs are Flying in Batticaloa!  -

".... the entire puppet show is being run by the Indians (UNP, SLFP, JVP- on the Sinhalese side; Karuna, Anandasangaree and other Tamil paramilitaries, on the Tamil side). This is an open secret to all in Sri Lanka. So, now the only game in town is LTTE (Eelam Tamils) vs Indian tentacles, namely - the RAW.  Now, RAW has access to any place or any facility in Sri Lanka, except in LTTE-controlled areas. Karuna cannot be (need not be) in Sri Lanka. He is only a faceless phantom figure used by the Indians (and Sinhalese) to break- up the Tamil solidarity, mainly the North and East bond and linkage. .."

Democratic Tamil leaders such as Mr. A. Amirthalingam former leader of the TULF and Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam, TULF M.P., and Human Rights Activist, who were seen by the LTTE as traitors or opponents of their cause were eliminated. While the LTTE is internationally notorious for their signature style of political killings - the suicide bomber - it is not their only modus operandi for carrying out assassinations. Pistol gangs and snipers are also part of their tactical repertoire.

Comment: That Mr.Dhanapala should seek to explain away the uncomfortable fact that a suicide bomber was not involved in the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar is understandable - understandable in the context of his desire to implicate the LTTE. But Mr.Dhanapala would know that pistol gangs and snipers are part of the political culture of Democracy, Sri Lanka Style in the South.

"...The progressive destruction of the political process in Sri Lanka has led to both domestic and international tolerance of an enormous amount of violence by the government (regardless of party affiliation) against its citizens. Increasingly, it seems that the government of Sri Lanka is accountable to no one - not its citizens, and not its foreign counterparts who rubber-stamped the recent parliamentary elections. In Sri Lanka's current political climate, power seems to be determined by the number of thugs a given politician has at his/her disposal..." Sri Lanka's Elections 2000: Fear and Intimidation Rule the Day - An Observer's Report - Laura Gross

Investigations into the assassination of Mr. Kadirgamar so far have clearly established a direct link to the LTTE. The GOSL will act expeditiously to conclude investigations, apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.

Comment:  Again, Mr.Dhanapala's anxiety to condemn is understandable. But by so doing, he denies due process and the rule of law to those who may be accused. This is more so because the record shows that the  Sri Lanka judiciary has been singularly amenable to bowing to political pressure.

Despite this dastardly act, the GOSL will continue to adhere to and respect the CFA. As a responsible democratic government committed to the rule of law and human rights, the GOSL does not want to plunge the country back into armed conflict.

Comment: Mr.Dhanapala's statement about Sri Lanka's commitment 'to the rule of law and human rights' is ofcourse welcome. More so, because the record shows the gross and consistent violation of the rights of the Tamil people, by the Sri Lankan government and its agencies during the past several decades, including grave breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Genocide Convention, and the Geneva Conventions relating to the humanitarian law of armed conflict. The whole is a chilling chronology of discrimination, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, extra judicial killings and massacres, mass graves, indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling, wanton rapeimpunity, and genocide

The CFA has saved countless lives and prevented the wanton destruction of property. It has facilitated the movement of people, goods and services from the North and the East to the South and vice versa. Despite reports to the contrary, it has brought about a peace dividend for people particularly in the North and the East. But after the Kadirgamar assassination it cannot be business as usual.

Comment: For more than 15 months before the Kadirgamar assassination, the Sri Lanka government  failed to implement the provisions of the CFA. That was business as usual.  Again, though the Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE signed Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) Agreement on 24 June 2005, within a couple of weeks  President Kumaratunge  requested  that  Article 7 of the signed agreement dealing with the Regional Fund be amended. The agreement provided for the government and the LTTE to appoint a suitable multilateral agency to be the custodian of the Regional Fund. However, the President wanted that the Sri Lanka Treasury be nominated as the custodian of the Regional Fund. A few days after the President's request, the Supreme Court obliged by staying the implementation of the clause which the President had wanted amended.

We are therefore engaged in a policy review, which we would like to share with the international community and seek cooperation in its implementation.

Comment: Many will take the view that Sri Lanka seeks a policy review because it has been thwarted  in its efforts to use the CFA as a cover to infiltrate and undermine the armed strength of the LTTE.  Here, the views expressed by D.Sivaram in 2000 are not irrelevant:

"Sri Lanka is easily the only country in the world to fight its insurgency with the undivided support of the international community, the backing of all the important nations across the global political spectrum. It is the most advantageous external environment that any country may have ever had in fighting an insurgency.  And yet something is obviously going wrong. There are three reasons that may be attributed to the apparent failure of western counter insurgency - CI - methods in Sri Lanka....Firstly, the LTTE has developed over the years a fairly sophisticated counter-counter insurgency system. Secondly, it has consistently focused its resources on building a conventional force and on preserving the minimum required territory to sustain such a force. And thirdly it never lets itself be inveigled or coerced into the political space that is so necessary for diluting and mystifying the basic cause fuelling the insurgency..."

The areas in which we think policy review is necessary are:

The more effective functioning of the CFA
Ensuring the practice of democratic freedoms by all Tamils and Muslims in the LTTE dominated areas of the North and the East
A serious effort to stop child recruitment by the LTTE
The urgent need to address human rights issues involved in ceasefire violations
The continuation of development and humanitarian assistance to the people of the North and the East
The urgent need for sanctions by the international community for persistent violations of the CFA

In all of these areas, we seek the understanding and active co-operation of the international community in general and the USA in particular.

(a) Reviewing the CFA

There is, first of all, a need to review the functioning of the CFA that is now far more urgent than before. In the aftermath of the assassination, the President of Sri Lanka wrote to the Prime Minister of Norway, requesting “an urgent meeting between the government and the LTTE…. to review the practical functioning of the ceasefire with a view to preventing further killings and other violations".

The GOSL has been calling for a review of the implementation of the CFA for quite sometime, a request endorsed by the SLMM but steadfastly resisted by the LTTE until they found it expedient to divert the recent outrage and opprobrium expressed by the international community in the aftermath of the Kadirgamar assassination by agreeing to these talks.

The GOSL expectation is that these talks will be technical level discussions between representatives of the armed forces of the government on the one part and the LTTE on the other on the practical functioning of the CFA with a view to preventing further killings. I have just been informed that the LTTE has rejected a Norwegian proposal that the talks be held at the Bandaranaike International Airport, which the government had accepted.

Comment: "We consider the Sri Lankan government's insistence on holding future peace talks in Sri Lanka and not abroad is with a view to sever the rapport the LTTE has built up with the international community," Mr.Thamilchelvan - An embodiment of antimony - Thamilchelvan on Kumaratunga's speeches in New York

(b) Democratic freedoms

The GOSL also recognizes that in the long run a mere review of the CFA may not be sufficient to halt violations of the CFA. According to statistics maintained by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, which monitors the CFA, up to August 2005 the LTTE has a record of 3113 violations of the CFA as against 141 by the Government, which represents a ratio of 22 to 1.

Comment:  Here D.Sivaram's remarks in War Remains an Option Three Years After Cease-fire may be helpful.

"Trying to score points over each other at this juncture with SLMM statistics is an absolutely futile exercise. The number of violations has nothing to do with the stability of the ceasefire because there is a conventional fighting force on either side of the line of control as defined by the CFA. When and why these two forces would go to war is a strictly centralized decision of their respective leaderships and has nothing to do with the manner in which the CFA is violated. SLMM's ceasefire statistics do not tell us anything about war and peace. If the army says the LTTE has committed greater violations, then Tigers would say that the military has not fulfilled its pledges to vacate all public buildings, homes etc., and disarm paramilitaries."

And Mr.Dhanapala may have usefully addressed the matters raised by the LTTE with  Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) on 15 July 2005 -

".. the CFA contains within it time frames stipulating moving away of the military from occupied positions in places of worship, schools and densely populated habitats and public buildings paving a way for restoration of normalcy. (Time frames which have not been kept by Sri Lanka) It is relevant to remind the Secretary General (of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat) that it is on the acknowledgement of the ground reality of two power positions and territories being administered under their respective control, that the CFA has been formulated..."

 I would like to highlight for you the qualitative nature of these violations. Political killings are merely a symptom of LTTE’s intolerance of dissent. The basic right to express one’s opinion, to associate, to engage in political activity, to vote freely - are the foundations of a democracy. More than three years after the CFA it does not appear that the LTTE is able to change and accept the imperative for democratization and the fact that it is not the ‘sole representative of the Tamil people’.

Similarly, more than three years after the CFA, Tamil people, or the representatives of the Tamil political parties, who express independent opinions or engage in political activity outside the framework laid down by the LTTE are still on a death sentence. In contrast, the CFA in Art. 1.13 allows LTTE cadres to engage in political work in GOSL controlled areas and the GOSL has also recognized LTTE’s right to set up political offices in these areas. International pressure on the LTTE is needed to allow other parties to conduct political activities in LTTE controlled areas.

Comment: The real question that may need to be explored carefully is whether Sri Lanka's intelligence agencies have been operating under cover of the ceasefire and whether the LTTE was right when it pointed out in August 2005 that  "five Tamil paramilitary armed groups, including the Karuna group, are being paid and provided with logistic support by the Sri Lanka security forces in a covert military campaign" to destabilise the Eastern province and to paralyse the LTTE’s political engagement in the region." If this be the case, the so called 'political killings' may not be a 'symptom of LTTE’s intolerance of dissent' but its intolerance of Sri Lanka funded intelligence operatives. There may be a need for the evidence to be sifted and examined in an objective manner.

Mr.Dhanapala may also want to pay attention to the statement of  the co chairs to the peace process (US, Japan and the EU)  on 19 July 2005 -

 “The Sri Lankan government, in accordance with the Ceasefire Agreement, must ensure that all paramilitary groups are disarmed and prevented from any activity that might lead to acts of violence. The government must also guarantee the security of unarmed LTTE cadres in government controlled areas”

(c) Child Combatants

A majority of CFA violations (54%) relate to child recruitment, in blatant disregard of the undertaking the LTTE has given to the United Nations in 1998 and the UNICEF Action Program of mid 2003.

On the question of child recruitment, the Sri Lankan government welcomes the UN Security Council Resolution 1612(2005), which establishes a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the use of child soldiers, and will work closely with UNICEF to give effect to this resolution.

Comment: Here, the comments of the International Red Cross in its Introduction to the Geneva Conventions Optional Protocol (which requires that armed groups may not recruit persons under the age of 18 years)  are not without relevance -

"..The ICRC welcomes the fact that the issue of non-state actors has been included in the Optional Protocol, but regrets that the provision imposes a moral, as opposed to a legal obligation. Although Article 4 also provides for criminal prosecution under domestic law, this is likely to be of limited effect, because those who take up arms against the lawful Government of a country already expose themselves to the most severe penalties of domestic law, and because the capacity of a Government to enforce its laws is often very limited in situations of non-international armed conflicts. Third, it is uncertain whether non-state actors will feel bound by a norm which is different from that imposed on States, and thus whether it will be respected..."

There is a further complicating factor. The LTTE is not simply an armed group. It also administers civil institutions in a de facto state  in control of a demarcated area recognised by the CFA. Ms.Virginia Judge MP from Australia stated recently -

"... I observed that in a remarkable three year period the Tamils developed a virtual state within the north and north-east of Sri Lanka.I visited their judiciary and court, school of law, police station, police academy, medical and technical colleges and small industries, a community bank plus a children's home housing 278 children left orphaned by the war and the recent tsunami. The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) runs a variety of development, relief and reconstruction projects as well as assisting several non-government organisations with their projects. All this is a tribute to the spirit and resilience of the Tamil people..."

A question that may have to be examined is whether recruitment of those under 18 by the LTTE is for its armed forces or whether those under 18 are employed in the various institutions of the de facto state such as the judiciary and court, school of law, police station, police academy, medical and technical colleges and small industries.

(d) Human Rights

These violations, whether they are political killings or child recruitment, are carried out with impunity even in the face of international condemnation as there are no sanctions against such violations. The SLMM as conceived in the CFA has a ‘naming and shaming’ role. Furthermore, given that a majority of CFA violations fall into the category of violations of a human rights nature, rather than of a military nature, the SLMM is inadequately equipped to deal with such violations, as they are mainly staffed by personnel with a military/police background.

There is also now a consensus emerging among civil society in Sri Lanka that a separate human rights agreement may be necessary to stem the tide of human rights violations by the LTTE. Human rights missions in El Salvador and Guatemala demonstrate the crucial role of promoting and protecting human rights in rebuilding trust and fostering a climate of reconciliation after an armed conflict. In Guatemala the human rights verification mission (MINUGUA) was deployed in 1994, two years in advance of the final peace agreement signed by the Government and the Opposition. The National Peace Accord was signed in South Africa September 1991, long before agreement was reached on a new constitution for SA.

Comment: Many Tamils will be heartened by Mr.Dhanapala's concern about impunity. Heartened because of  the impunity enjoyed  by Sri Lanka's security forces during the past several years despite  condemnation by innumerable human rights organisations - and despite persistent  'naming and shaming'.

As recently as October 2004,  Amnesty International called on the Sri Lankan Government to prosecute security forces responsible for disappearances in Sri Lanka.  The situation has not changed since Amnesty 'named and shamed' in 1996 - "The People's Alliance (PA) government has repeatedly proclaimed its commitment to human rights since it came to power in August 1994 and has introduced a number of safeguards to prevent torture and 'disappearances'. However, the Amnesty International delegation found that these grave violations of human rights are continuing... Amnesty International is concerned that the government is not living up to its stated commitment to human rights. Despite lobbying by local and international human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Committee and the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the government refuses to amend provisions in several laws which fall far short of international standards and continue to facilitate torture, death in custody, "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions... "

Clearly human rights is of vital importance and it appears that it was in recognition of that importance that the Northeast Secretariat of Human Rights  was established in August 1984 to monitor human rights violations and implement actions to strengthen human rights in the NorthEast. Mr.Dhanapala's failure to inform the Congress Sri Lanka  Caucus of the work of NESHOR accords with the general tenor of his address.

In Sri Lanka, it was understood that the process of negotiations for a solution to the armed conflict will be a long one, before ultimate human rights commitments are agreed upon and included as part of constitutional arrangements. But the need to address human rights issues in the interim was recognized by both parties during the fourth and fifth rounds of the peace talks. Accordingly, the two parties agreed to invite Mr. Ian Martin to act as an international human rights advisor and to draw up a road map on human rights issues relating to the peace process, which could form an agreement between the two parties.

However, with the unilateral suspension of the peace talks in April 2003, it has not been able to make any progress on the road map.

Comment: Mr.Dhanapala is yet again economical with truth. Sometimes to be silent is also to lie. Mr.Dhanapala omits to mention that the LTTE submitted its ISGA proposal in November 2003 and that it was the  actions of  President Kumaratunga that resulted in the facilitator, the Norwegian Government suspending its role in November 2003. The Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister declared on 14 November 2003  " Peace talks could have started tomorrow, provided there was clarity about who is holding political authority and responsibility on behalf of the Government to ensure the continuation of the ceasefire agreement and the resumption of peace negotiations. Until last week there was such clarity. Today there is no such clarity. Until such clarity is re-established, there is no space for further efforts by the Norwegian government to assist the parties." 

Mr. Ian Martin is expected to visit Sri Lanka again this year, and it is our hope that we will be able to recommence the discussion relating to addressing human rights as a matter of priority as the continuation of these violations will seriously jeopardize the future of our peace process.

The GOSL has also commenced a dialogue with the UN on the issue of addressing human rights within the peace process. Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Advisor to the SG was in Sri Lanka just before my departure to the US to discuss a possible UN role in this regard.

This discussion on the CFA and its limitations has, I believe, already highlighted the considerable role played by the international community in the peace process in Sri Lanka and the potential for other actors. The Royal Norwegian Government, which facilitated the CFA in 2001, continues to act as the facilitator and the CFA is monitored by the Nordic staffed SLMM. Other international actors have also supported Sri Lanka’s peace process through economic assistance and a variety of diplomatic tools.

Comment: Mr.Dhanapala refers to 'the considerable role played by the international community in the peace process in Sri Lanka and the potential for other actors' though he does not name these 'other actors'. Who are these 'other actors' i.e. other than the so called 'international community'? In a statement on 21 August 2005, the leader of the JVP, Mr.Somawansa Amarasinghe  emphasised that by "International Community" he means 'western powers' and not India - and it is to this "International Community" that he appeals, when he urges that 'the international community must support us in  (our) legitimate self- defence'. Whether Mr.Dhanapala subscribes to this usage is not altogether clear. The report in the Hindustan Times on 25 August 2005  may be helpful in this regard -

"According to sources, the Indian leaders expressed concern about the "over internationalisation" of the Sri Lankan peace process. ... New Delhi is said to be unhappy with the performance of the "co-chair" of the June 2003 Tokyo Aid Lanka conference. The co-chair (US, EU, Japan and Norway) have arrogated to themselves a role not assigned to them. They style themselves as the "international community" and strut about as the "co-chair of the Sri Lankan peace process". India feels that they have been pampering the LTTE a bit too much and have been ineffective..."

(e) Development and Humanitarian Assistance

The international community has provided enormous support to the peace process in Sri Lanka through economic assistance to rebuild the North and the East affected by the armed conflict. Since the CFA was signed, international donor conferences were held in Oslo and Tokyo, as well as a preparatory meeting in Washington to mobilize political and economic support for the peace process. At the Tokyo Donor Conference held in June 2003, the international community pledged $4.5 billion to support the GOSL's efforts to address the immediate and long-term needs of the conflict-affected North and the East. The US, EU, Norway and Japan, which were named Co-Chairs to the Tokyo Donor Conference, have continued to meet to monitor progress in Sri Lanka’s peace process.

The Government through the Ministry of RRR has been delivering this international humanitarian and development assistance to the affected people of the North and the East, including those in the uncleared areas of Mullaitivu and Killinochchi. I am happy to say that this work has been done with the cooperation of the LTTE, and as I mentioned earlier, people in the North and the East have therefore benefited from the ceasefire, through a peace dividend. Let me now identify some of the very specific programmes being undertaken in the North and the East, since the ceasefire was signed.

The RRR Ministry with donor assistance is at present implementing an impressive number of projects, which include resettlement of internally displaced persons and assistance to host communities, rehabilitation of basic physical infrastructure such as roads, irrigation programmes, power, and communication facilities as well as rebuilding of social and communal services such as health, education, sanitation and judicial services. The CFA has also enabled the return of a large number of refugees mainly from India.

The demining efforts undertaken by the Government together with NGO’s have facilitated this resettlement of IDP’s as well as reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the North and the East. Consequent to the ceasefire agreement, a comprehensive programme for demining is being coordinated and implemented by the GOSL during the last 2 years. We are particularly appreciative of the role of the U.S. in this programme.

Perhaps as a direct result of these efforts, GDP in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces has shown remarkable growth. According to research done by the Economic Affairs Division of my office, the highest GDP growth rates during the post-CFA period are in the Northern Province (12.6% per annum) and in the Eastern Province (10.1% per annum.), in contrast to other provinces in Sri Lanka. The engine of growth in the North and the East during the post-CFA has been the agricultural sector with the industrial and service sectors also making useful contributions; rice production in the North and the East has reached pre-conflict levels and recorded a surplus during the last harvest. The North has the lowest rate of unemployment - 5.8% as against 8.9% for the national average.

Furthermore, GOSL is looking at investment promotion strategies specific to the conflict-affected areas and exploring ways of improving the investment climate in general in the North and the East. Attracting private-sector investment in troubled areas is not easy and at present the government is negotiating a Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) facility to promote investment in the North and the East. MIGA is the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank, which promotes foreign direct investment in developing countries by insuring against political risk and by providing technical assistance.

While the international community also showed a keen interest to support the Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS), which was agreed upon by the GOSL and the LTTE for equitable allocation of donor funds, the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been delayed due to a stay order on some provisions of the MOU by the Supreme Court, relating to the Regional Committee and the Regional Fund set up under the MOU. The Government has filed its written objections to the case and will also vigorously argue that the MOU does neither violate provisions of the Constitution nor governmental regulations, when the case is taken up on the 12th of September.

Comment:   In the event, (contrary to Mr.Dhanapala's statement) the Supreme Court did not hear the case on 12 September 2005 and his promise that the Government will 'vigorously argue that the MOU does neither violate provisions of the Constitution nor governmental regulations' remains a promise. Meanwhile the P-TOMS is a dead letter and the people in the NorthEast continue to suffer the ravages of the Tsunami.

Despite the delay in implementing the MOU on P-TOMS, foreign economic assistance obtained for post tsunami reconstruction work is being disbursed through the Ministry of RRR and other line Ministries in order to bring relief to the tsunami affected people in the North and the East. The role of the UN agencies and the local and international NGOs remain significant in these areas. I must also emphasize that the GOSL will continue its humanitarian and development work in the North and the East as a matter of priority, irrespective of the progress made in the peace process, as the people of the North and the East cannot be penalized for the faults of the LTTE.

Comment: Here, the US Congress may have found  Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar remarks on BBC Hard Talk, 22 March 2005 of some interest:

 "BBC: What is the government's response to the accusation that aid is being withheld from Tamil Tiger areas? 
Kadirgamar
. Totally and horribly false - this is being put about by mischief makers and propagandists..  Take the food situation  in the first two months. Earlier on there were accusations that people in the Tamil areas were starving and had no water - that was a load of rubbish.."
BBC
: It is not only Tamil Tigers who are saying this. Local NGOs are saying it. Western Aid organisations..  Let me tell you what John Charly from Refugees International said - he says that the Government when faced with the choice of spending foreign aid in Galle in the south  or in Tamil areas in the North and East, the government would give it in Galle where its Sinhala constituencies are based
Kadirgamar:
That is a wholly unsubstantiated allegation.
BBC:
This is not a Tiger rebel saying it, is it
Kadirgamar:
  I do not know who he is
BBC:
He is a western NGO. He is one of many NGOs who is saying that this government is withholding aid to Tamil Tiger areas
Kadirgamar:
I am sorry - that does not impress me in the slightest...."


(f) Sanctions and Pressures

With the exception of the USA, UK, Australia and India, which has banned the LTTE as a terrorist outfit, a number of international governments have followed a policy of constructive engagement with both parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka.

Comment:  India has not banned the LTTE as a 'terrorist outfit' and Mr.Dhanapala's statement is factually incorrect. India banned the LTTE  on the ground that 'LTTE's objective for a homeland for all Tamils disrupts the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India'. In the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Indian Supreme Court  acquitted  the accused of the 'terrorism' charge,

 Sri Lanka de proscribed the LTTE on 4 September 2002 and Peace Talks commenced thereafter.  Whatever may have been the position before such de proscription, it will be strange (and opportunistic) if after itself de proscribing the LTTE and seeking to engage in talks with it, Sri Lanka should now be concerned that 'a number of international governments have followed a policy of constructive engagement' with both parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka.'

Constructive engagement with the LTTE has meant direct interaction with the LTTE in Kilinochchi, on issues relevant to the peace process, reconstruction and rehabilitating activities and hosting LTTE delegations in their own countries. Since the CFA, the LTTE has made several tours to Europe. The last tour also included a visit to South Africa.

In the past, the GOSL has encouraged these visits, in the belief that it is a useful exercise for the LTTE to learn about democracy, concepts of governance, power sharing, federalism etc., to broaden their horizons and that it will assist in their transformation from a terrorist outfit to a democratic institution.

Foreign governments have also sought to make public, their stance on issues related to the Sri Lanka peace process through policy statements or statements of encouragement/condemnation thereby influencing the actors and stakeholders in the conflict in Sri Lanka. These diplomatic tools have however, made little or no impact on the LTTE to either desist from violations of the CFA or return to the negotiating table, which they left in April 2003.

Direct peace negotiations between the GOSL and the LTTE that are critical in any peace process have been stalled since April 2003. The six (6) rounds of peace talks yielded a number of significant decisions such as the establishment of a Committee for De-escalation and Normalization, a Gender Committee, a Sub Committee for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs, and the Oslo Decision signed by the two sides in December 2002, in which both parties agreed “to explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking peoples, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka”. None of these committees are now functioning and the Oslo decision also remains a dead letter with the LTTE steadfastly refusing to reiterate it publicly.

The stalemate over the reopening of negotiations has revolved around whether the ISGA proposal by the LTTE alone should be the only subject of the agenda as the LTTE has demanded or whether all proposals for an interim authority should be discussed as a prelude to a final settlement within the framework of the Oslo decision, as the Government has proposed.

Comment: The record shows that the stalemate over the reopening of negotiations had everything to do with the divisions amongst Sinhala political parties in the South and very little to do with agreeing on the wording of the proposed agenda.

"The representatives of three of the four co-chairs of the Tokyo Donors Conference (Japan, EU and US) called on Her Excellency President Kumaratunga on December 14. The co-chair representatives .. expressed deep concern about the ongoing JVP-led actions against the peace process in Sri Lanka and the Government of Norway's efforts as facilitator of that process. The representatives expressed bewilderment that a member party of the UPFA could engage in such a campaign in absolute contradiction of the clearly stated position of the President and the Government that they endorse and support the Norwegian role. "  Address the JVP problem - Tokyo co-chairs urge President, 14 December 2004

"The responsibility of resurrecting the stalled peace process is entirely with the government in ensuring that its coalition partners reflect the thinking of the president, if she is in fact really sincere, and her military refrains from coercive and provocative actions", Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of the Political Wing of the LTTE told the Norwegian facilitators Wednesday (15 December 2004)  in Kilinochchi. "Norwegian delegation was unable to give assurance that Sri Lanka Government will take any constructive steps to take the peace process forward" Thamilchelvan told the Press after the meeting. " GoSL entirely responsible for resuming talks - LTTE, 15 December 2004

This dispute over the agenda probably conceals other factors.

Comment: It may well be correct that the dispute over the agenda conceals other factors. Mr.Dhanapala may have helped the Sri Lanka Caucus to draw its own conclusion as to what those factors were,  if he had brought to the notice of the Caucus the views expressed in  Securing Peace: An Action Strategy for Sri Lanka  - A Report Prepared by Princeton University for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), June 2004

"..In our view, resolution of the Sinhalese political party struggle is the top priority. This conflict—whatever the merits of the arguments—is selfish in the short-term and self defeating in the long-term. The country is ready for peace. The LTTE is ready to continue negotiations. The world cannot understand why Sri Lanka does not move ahead to peace. All parties need to seize this moment, honor their constituents’ faith in them, and settle their dispute immediately. The critical next steps we explore in this report will go unaddressed if this issue is not resolved immediately."...

Since March 2004 a dramatic split in the ranks of the LTTE has resulted in a murky internecine war between the Karuna faction, a break away group of the LTTE, and the Kilinochchi based LTTE.

Comment: The timing of the Karuna 'break away' after nominations were submitted for the General Elections and before the actual vote in April 2004, the help provided by a Sri Lanka Member of Parliament (albeit from the United National Party) for Karuna to escape to Colombo, the provision of a 'safe house' in Colombo for Karuna's associates by the Sri Lanka intelligence services, show the need for an examination of Sri Lanka's 'murky' role in the Karuna 'break away'.

The SLMM has strongly urged the government to take meaningful and effective action to curb the activities of paramilitary groups including that of Karuna faction and the EPDP'', Major General (retd) Trond Furuhovde, Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission told LTTE Head of Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan"  Curb activities of paramilitaries, SLMM urges SL Government, 22 July 2004

In many ways, the international community has been indulgent of the LTTE, subordinating democracy and human rights to keep the peace process alive, rewarding the LTTE with various incentives, in the hope that dialogue and engagement will slowly democratize the organization. This however is no longer a tenable policy.

The recent Kadirgamar assassination has thrown up hard questions about the role of the international community in Sri Lanka’s peace process. Both the Royal Norwegian Government and the SLMM has had to perform a difficult task under extremely difficult circumstances and the GOSL is extremely grateful to them for the work they are doing to support peace in Sri Lanka. Despite media criticism and widespread speculation, I must emphasize here that the GOSL does not intend to replace Norway as facilitator.

Comment: "...There is widespread questioning of the Norwegian role in Sri Lanka, and senior government officials have been publicly critical of Norway. I believe Norway has handled itself with skill and professionalism. Nonetheless, no negotiator is perfect, and after a frustrating two years the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE may want to reassess what they seek from the international community. If there is to be a change, both parties need to be involved..." International Community and Sri Lanka: Playing a Modest Hand Better - Teresita C. Schaffer

The GOSL, however, believes that the international community has an important role to play in supplementing the role of Norway as facilitator by applying pressure on the LTTE.

This may be an opportune moment to undertake a fundamental review or ‘redesign’ of the peace process in Sri Lanka. GOSL’s discussions with representatives of the international community in Colombo reveal that there is broad agreement that we have to take a fresh look at the peace process.

The route of appeasement or the ‘carrot and more carrots’ approach, have not worked with the LTTE. Immediately after the Kadirgamar assassination, the GOSL called for concerted international action that is immediate and tangible against the LTTE, to include not only those that have a bearing on the LTTE, but also its numerous front organizations in many countries through which it continues its reign of terror in Sri Lanka.

In the globalized world of today, the trajectory of internal conflicts are often influenced by international developments and pressures. Analysts of internal conflicts have concluded that international involvement in internal conflicts is eventually inevitable as a passive as well as an active factor. The question is how to ensure such pressure is positive rather than negative.

Comment: Here, it may have been helpful if in relation to the  'globalized world of today', Mr.Dhanapala had expressed his views on the question whether there may be a difference in the end goals that US and India may have in the emerging multi lateral world, and whether for that reason, the policies of the United States and New Delhi in relation to  Sri Lanka and the LTTE may not always be congruent - and, examined  the extent to which this impacts on the Sri Lanka Peace Process.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a recent address to the nation pointed out that, “Terrorism has become today, the single most dominant global phenomenon. From New York to London, the western world has begun to experience terrorism, which we have for long suffered in Sri Lanka. Terrorism has been condemned globally while its true nature is recognized and rejected. The community of nations represented by the United Nations Organization and its Security Council has now united to oppose terrorism practically and effectively”.

The United States as a close friend of Sri Lanka, and as a member of the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference, has consistently supported a sanctions based approach to the LTTE, and maintained that the US listing of the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization will remain in effect until it renounces terrorism in word and deed.

Comment: At the time that Mr.Dhanapala made his presentation, he may or may not have had access to Teresita C. Schaffer's  Briefing Paper on International Community and Sri Lanka: Playing a Modest Hand Better -

"U.S. terrorism policies have effectively prevented the United States from developing any real leverage on the LTTE. U.S. laws on terrorism would have made it impossible for the United States to contribute to post-Tsunami relief through the P-TOMS mechanism; a different approach might have made it easier for that mechanism to survive. This is not the time for a major shift in those policies. However, should the talks on revitalizing the ceasefire get somewhere, I believe the Administration and the Congress should consider giving the Administration some flexibility in this area. We cannot put pressure on the LTTE if we have no means of engagement with them."  International Community and Sri Lanka: Playing a Modest Hand Better - Teresita C. Schaffer

Indeed it is the international safety net provided by such a sanctions based approach that has allowed the GOSL to continue to negotiate with the LTTE to find a peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Sri Lanka. In order for the GOSL to be able to talk to the LTTE without further alienating the peace constituency in Sri Lanka, the international community must take a tough stand against them. This will help move the peace process forward.

I would like to conclude by saying that the impact of the international community has been mixed in Sri Lanka’s peace process. On the one hand it has had a positive impact on the sustainability of the peace process through sustained interest and economic support. It has however, not been particularly effective in stemming the tide of grave ceasefire violations, insisting on a resumption of talks or transforming the LTTE into a democratic institution.

The next meeting of the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference is scheduled for the 19th of September in New York. It is an opportunity for the U.S. to continue to show leadership at that meeting to ensure that acts of terrorism like the Kadirgamar assassination would not go unpunished and that conditions for human rights and democracy to flourish in all parts of Sri Lanka would be created.

As Sri Lanka enters a democratic process of electing a new President, the LTTE must be under no illusion that they can get away by assassinating political leaders and resorting to electoral malpractices in the areas controlled by them as they have done on previous occasions.

Comment: At the end of Mr.Dhanapala's Briefing the question remains as to the way forward. Here,  the Tamil Guardian editorial of 12 September 2005,  on 'Main Stream Extremism' merits the attention of all who are genuinely concerned with securing a just peace in the island of Sri Lanka -

"The stark polarisation amongst Sri Lanka’s ethnic communities is undoubtedly set to deepen further. The Sinhala right wing coalition that emerged this week behind Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse’s Presidential candidacy is not just a marriage of political convenience but an assertive statement of their shared vision of a future Sri Lanka – one in which the Sinhala-Buddhism is the prevailing order and the minorities know their place. Mr. Rajapakse is going to sign an agreement with the Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP), the third force in the Sinhala politics and another with the small, but important monks’ party, the Jeyatha Hela Urumaya. The text of the JVP deal makes grim reading for those concerned with promoting a peaceful solution to Sri Lanka’s protracted ethnic conflict. It is a comprehensive attack on the very foundations of the Norwegian peace process. Every concept around which dialogue has been proposed – joint aid mechanism, interim administration, etc – has been rejected. The ceasefire is criticised. Even Oslo’s invaluable role in stopping the bloodshed is denounced. The most important aspect of these attitudes, as far as the Tamils are concerned, is that they are mainstream values in the south...

Monk...Those still optimistic about a liberal peace in a united Sri Lanka need to seriously reconsider the viability of their vision. Three decades of violence have not dulled Sinhala nationalist aspirations, nor have four years of peace and increasing enmeshment in the threads of globalisation. On the other hand, these - and a half-century of increasing Sinhala oppression - have concretised a Tamil national consciousness. It is these polarised sentiments that are playing out in the political developments today..."

We may all gain by revisiting the words of Professor Margaret Moore in Nations & Nationalism in 2001 -

""...The problem in nationally divided societies is that the different groups have different political identities, and, in cases where the identities are mutually exclusive (not nested), these groups see themselves as forming distinct political communities. In this situation, the options available to represent these distinct identities are very limited, because any solution at the state level is inclined to be biased in favour of one kind of identity over another. That is to say, if the minority group seeks to be self-governing, or to secede from the larger state, increased representation at the centre will not be satisfactory. The problem in this case is that the group does not identify with the centre, or want to be part of that political community...One conclusion that can be drawn is that, in some cases, secession/partition of the two communities, where that option is available, is the best outcome overall. .."

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