தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"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 > Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka  > Tracking the Norwegian Conflict Resolution Initiative > Early Beginnings...: 1996 - 1999  > LTTE's Military Victories & the International Response : 1999 - 2000 > LTTE's Unilateral Ceasefires: 2000 - 2001 > Sri Lanka Army suffers further major debacles: 2001 - 2002 > Ceasefire Agreement & Lifting of Ban on LTTE: 2002 > First Session of Peace Talks in Thailand & Aftermath: 2002 > Second Session of Peace Talks in Thailand & Aftermath: 2002 > Oslo Peace Support Meeting:2002 > Third Session of Peace Talks in Oslo & Aftermath: 2002 - 2003 > Fourth Session of Peace Talks in Thailand & Aftermath: 2003 > Fifth Session of Peace Talks in Germany & Aftermath: 2004 > Sixth Session of Talks in Japan & Aftermath: 2003 > LTTE Suspends Negotiations: 2003 > Interim Self Governing Authority & Aftermath: 2003 - 2004 > Tsunami & Aftermath: 2005 > Presidential Elections & Aftermath: 2005 - 2006 > Geneva Talks & Aftermath: 2006 - 2007> Ceasefire Agreement Buried?: 2006 - 2007

CONFLICT RESOLUTION : TAMIL EELAM - SRI LANKA
Tracking the Norwegian Conflict Resolution Initiative

Interim Self Governing Authority & Aftermath: 2003 - 2004
17 June 2003 Tokyo aid conference fails to restart Sri Lankan peace process
19 June 2003 LTTE will consider returning to negotiations  when  Sri Lanka offers a practical conceptual framework for an interim administrative structure
20 June 2003 Sri Lanka offers an "interim administrative council" to the LTTE, conceding key demand to revive stalled Norwegian-backed peace talks...
27 June 2003 Pongu Thamil urges steps to permanent peace
28 June 2003 Sea Incident on 14th of June 2003 - SLMM Report
20 July 2003 Sri Lanka Proposal for Interim Administration - Discussion Document
25 August 2003 Sri Lanka: From a Unitary State to a Federal State - Paper presented by Eranthi Premaratne at Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.        
2 September 2003 'Discussion Document': Sinhalese Politicians Learn Nothing and Forget Nothing says Dr.S.Sathananthan

"each party when in Opposition has sabotaged the manoeuvres of the other in government to defeat the Tamil National Movement. The unfolding shenanigans over the Discussion Document are no different. The growing hostility to the document does not even remotely imply that the Discussion Paper seeks justice. The anti-Tamil hysteria should not under any condition be misconstrued as "anti-peace"; that is a grave error. The Discussion Document has nothing to do with peace based on justice..."

9 September 2003 Speech by Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs

"..This afternoon the Head of the Peace Secretariat of the Sri Lankan government and of the LTTE together with representatives of the Gender Sub-Committee created for the peace process will meet to discuss various aspects of the peace process. There have been no direct contacts of this kind, and certainly none in public, since peace negotiations were broken off in April of this year. We are pleased that the parties have taken the opportunity to hold these discussions in Switzerland. This discussion is also highly topical, because within the next two weeks the LTTE plans to present its proposals to the Sri Lankan government for peace talks which hopefully will start soon afterwards. The government for its part announced its proposals for the interim administration in the north east of Sri Lanka in July..."

26 October 2003 D.B.S.Jeyaraj on Draft LTTE proposals  

"...Whatever the LTTE's strategy and whatever the final document there is no doubt that a painstakingly serious effort has been put into this counter proposal drafting exercise. It is of great historical importance being the first ever LTTE proposal of its kind. It is of a constitutionalist yet revolutionary nature and envisages the radical restructuring of Sri Lanka to preserve its unity and territorial integrity.."

26 October 2003 Details of LTTE Draft Proposals

"Fundamentally, the LTTE seeks to present a power sharing model with maximum powers for the north eastern unit under the nomenclature of an interim administrative set up. The Tigers want an interim administration with wide powers to prevail for at least six years..."

28 October 2003 Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Island Editorial on the 'draft' LTTE proposals. "Reinventing the Sri Lankan State or creation of two states?"
1 November 2003 LTTE Proposal for Interim Self Governing Authority for the North-East
1 November, 2003 Sri Lanka Government Responds to ISGA, 1 November 2003
3 November 2003 U.S. Government supports resumption of peace negotiations

Applauding the Norwegian government for its ongoing facilitation efforts, the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka said that it also believed that  "the U.S. Embassy 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. The Embassy urges both parties to build on this step by resuming negotiations in a timely manner..."

4 November 2003 Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) response to LTTE's proposals for an interim self governing authority (ISGA)
6 November 2003 US based Ilankai Tamil Sangam on Kumaratunga's Coup & the Peace Process
14 November 2003 President Kumaratunga talks to the Financial Times

"The LTTE has now surrounded the chief naval base of the country in Trincomalee, which is also the second largest port in the country. They have surrounded it with 17 camps put up in total violation of the ceasefire agreement. And the government is doing nothing about it..."

19 December 2003 Dr. Robert C. Oberst on Federal Solutions Amidst Chaos

"It should be kept in mind that the LTTE presented the Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals with a limited scope--namely to oversee the rebuilding of the north and east. It is clearly intended to be a five-year plan bridging the gap between the Memorandum of Understanding and a final solution to the conflict. There are a number of features of interim plans which need to kept in mind...."

28 December 2003 Comments on ISGA Proposals and Precedence by Arivalan 

"The well-researched and thought-out proposals prepared for the LTTE by a team of eminent expatriate legal experts, which included a former attorney general of Sri Lanka, is not a work of fiction..."

3 January 2004 Aiding the Devil by Saravanan Suresh Kumar

"By providing military aid to Sri Lanka, India is weakening further the current troubled peace process. We still seem to have not realized that the Sri Lankan problem is not one that can be solved militarily..."

5 January 2004 Re-evaluating Concepts of Sovereignty - Ana Pararajasingham

"Although an Indian type of federalism is unworkable in the Sri Lankan context given the mutual mistrust and the enormous price paid by Tamils in the war, India can and indeed should play a role in formulating a solution under which the Tamils and Sinhalese can share sovereignty..."

16 January 2004 Think, India, Think says Sabesan from Melbourne Australia
30 January 2004 Ramtanu Maitra on  Covetous Eyes on Sri Lanka's Strategic Jewel  

"The recent revival of interest in Trincomalee in the Pentagon can only be associated with the growing overall US interest in acquiring bases for intervention and rapid deployment for the sake of developing a quick strike capability in the general area...."

January 2004 Sri Lanka Peace Process at Cross Roads - Lessons, Opportunities and Ideas for Principled Negotiations and Conflict Transformation - Tyrol Fernando, Kumar Rupesinghe, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, Jayadeva Uyangoda, Norbet Ropers
1 April 2004 British Refugee Sri Lanka Project Briefing

"The Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim arrived in Sri Lanka on 8 March and held discussions with the President, Prime Minister and the LTTE. Although he expressed optimism, there are grave doubts about the peace process. If UNF wins the election, it may not be able to take forward the peace process and introduce constitutional reforms, with a hostile President still in power. If the UPFA succeeds, it will be saddled with the JVP which is opposed to federalism, devolution and even negotiations with the LTTE. The division within the LTTE is also likely to have impact in the peace process. The delay in the peace process will cause delay in international assistance and directly affect economic recovery and the rehabilitation and resettlement of some 500,000 IDPs. At the root of the problem lies the power struggle between the two major political parties, without the cooperation of which, the peace process is doomed. Observers say that the international community has not concentrated on this issue and has so far failed to bring sufficient pressure on these parties to enter into a sustainable bipartisan agreement."

3 May 2004 What now for Sri Lanka peace?
8 May 2004 Peace Process at Grave Risk says LTTE
9 May 2004 Sri Lanka Sunday Leader on the Peace Process and International Espionage and the Hidden Third Force
13 May 2004 "ISGA, blue print for a future separate state" says Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Kadirgamar
16 May 2004 Chandrika advised against rushing into talks  due to domestic political compulsions
23 May 2004 We are awaiting the announcement from Norway says LTTE
26 May 2004 Deliberate Destabilisation:   Sri Lanka's military makes a move in the east 

 "..If Sri Lanka's military is tempted into exploiting  the rules of the ceasefire to shift the strategic balance in its  favour, the LTTE will be compelled, in the interests of self-protection, to respond..."

26 May 2004 Berlin Roundtable - Berghof Foundation - New Perspectives in the Sri Lankan Peace Process - The Current Political Situation and the Role of the International
Community
May 2004 Development as a Precursor to Conflict Resolution: A Critical Review of the Fifth Peace Process in Sri Lanka - N. Shanmugaratnam and K. Stokke

"...Since the end of the Cold War, the links between intra-state armed conflicts and development in low and middle-income countries have received an increasing amount of attention from researchers, Western governments and aid agencies. Scholars have explored the causal relations between underdevelopment and internal wars by focusing on the effects of uneven access to social and economic resources, opportunities and political power. The importance of ethno-nationalist movements and elites in constructing, transforming and politicising these inequalities in order to mobilise support for armed struggle in multi-ethnic societies has also been a major focus of several studies. At the same time, development aid has undergone a partial shift from ‘working around conflict’ (i.e. providing development aid without taking conflicts into account), through ‘working in conflict’ (i.e. offering humanitarian relief and development aid in a conflict-sensitive manner), to ‘working on conflict’ (i.e. providing development assistance which aims to reduce and manage conflicts) (Goodhand 2000, Japan Bank for International Cooperation 2003). Multilateral agencies and major donor nations are increasingly concerned with crafting transitions from war to peace in order to mainstream ‘post-conflict’ development. Peace, understood in the minimalist sense as ‘absence of warfare’ (Uyangoda and Perera 2003), has been added to the conditionalities of development assistance to countries with internal wars..... The situation was further complicated when the LTTE was excluded from a donor conference held in Washington in April 2003 because it remained banned by the US as a ‘terrorist’ organisation. On 21 April, the LTTE’s chief negotiator Anton Balasingham wrote to the Prime Minister that his organisation was temporarily withdrawing from the peace talks because of its exclusion from the donor conference, the non-implementation of agreed-upon measures and the continued sufferings of the displaced Tamils. He also informed the government that the LTTE would not be participating in the major donor conference on Sri Lanka to be held on 8-9 June 2003 in Tokyo.
While the peace process stalled, the ceasefire continued to hold..."

12 June 2004 Kumaratunga hints at "an effective compromise" with the LTTE

"..We will establish a continuing dialogue with all political leaders of the various communities and groups represented in Parliament. This consultation will proceed parallel to talks between the Government & LTTE with the objective of keeping the country informed of the progress of talks with the LTTE on one hand and of conveying to the LTTE the views of all concerned parties. A negotiating team will be nominated from among senior Cabinet Ministers, after dates for talks are agreed upon. A National Council for Peace will be the apex body that will coordinate these four institutions. This will be chaired by President..."

13 June 2004 LTTE lambasts Chandrika's Duplicity

Blaming Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge for "linking ISGA with permanent political solution," as a "manipulative strategy to take forward the peace process for a while and then to abort it," the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam called upon the International community to recognize Ms.Kumaratunge's political duplicity and to "bring pressure on her government to be principled and honest in political negotiations".. The minority UPFA government faces dissolution any time and such unstable political environment is unsuitable for discussing serious matters related to "Tamil homeland, Tamil nationalism and Tamil self-rule," the LTTE argued.

14 June 2004 Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga says there is no agreement yet with the Tamil Tiger rebels about how to resume stalled peace talks.

She said she wanted to discuss plans for self-government in rebel areas. But, in a TV address, she stressed this could only be done as part of talks on a final peace deal.

15 June 2004 Kumaratunga Prepares to Unleash the Sinhala Army warns Dr.S.Sathananthan, Action Group of Tamils.

 "...a confederal system is the only constitutional basis for a final and lasting settlement within a united Sri Lanka that ensures the national rights of Tamils. However, despite their rhetoric about "peace", Kumaratunga and her international backers are opposed to a confederal system. They view Tamils as a "minority" and therefore not entitled to collective, national rights. Almost all foreign governments that are sponsoring Kumaratunga are themselves busy manipulating and controlling their own so-called "minorities". Politicians in those governments come by and large from the respective majority nation in each country. Their national interest is to defend the international system of States. They are committed to defeating any internal military challenge to any State anywhere (except of course liberation movements they support for geopolitical advantage). In Sri Lanka they naturally collude with the Sinhala politicians and support the Sinhala government to crush LTTE's military power..."

18 June 2004 Slow Ebb: Prospects for Peace are fading Slowly - Tamil Guardian Editorial

"...Having at one stage agreed to discuss the LTTE's proposals for an Interim Self Governing Administration (ISGA) for the Northeast with the movement, President Chandrika Kumaratunga is (now that the international aid conference has concluded) insisting the talks must be on a permanent solution also...The glaring futility of a minority government seeking to take on the fifty year old imbroglio of the ethnic question instead of addressing short term and urgent measures to improve the quality of a million people's day-to-day lives is apparently lost on her. The ultranationalist Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP) - part of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition - is meanwhile railing against the ISGA. The LTTE has every reason to believe that President Kumaratunga's strategy is merely to resume negotiations, dismiss the ISGA at the outset and then allow the talks to meander. This will allow her to concentrate on her own political ambitions: ruling Sri Lanka after her second - and, according to the present constitution, final - term in office, while keeping the LTTE pinned to the table..."

21 June 2004 The Pursuit of Peace in Sri Lanka - Bradman Weerakoon 

"...There are some profound questions to be addressed. * Can the modern state with its limited resources resume its responsibilities as provider and protector?  * How does it act, in the face of the centrifugal forces generated as a reaction to globalization, to win back the loyalty of individuals who have withdrawn into their communal identities? * Can the strong centre, as symbolized by the unitary constitution and the executive presidential system hold? * Could a transformation of the country's political and economic institutions in the direction of federalism save the democratic state? ..."

25 June 2004 Cloaked Daggers: Kumaratunga goads the Tigers while Delaying Talks - Tamil Guardian Editorial

"...Infamous for her political duplicity, President Kumaratunga has never also bothered to conceal her militarist tendencies when it comes to the Tamil question. Senior diplomats in Colombo have long been well aware Karuna was under her protection – not least because Colombo was seeking a foreign safe haven for him. In their pointed call earlier this month for "both parties to do their utmost to continue to respect and implement the ceasefire" the co-chairs of Sri Lanka’s aid donors made clear the military’s feigned innocence in the violence is not being readily accepted. To little effect, however..."

27 June 2004 TNA's Thrust in Sri Lanka Parliament - R.Sampanthan - Parliamentary Group Leader, Tamil National Alliance (TNA)
June 2004 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."...

7 July 2004 Sri Lankan military’s intrigues with LTTE rebel faction threatens  ceasefire says International Committee of 4th International
9 July 2004 ISGA critical to Peace Process, Tamil MPs tell US think tank in Washington

"Even if we assume that Sri Lanka's President is interested in peace talks, the JVP, whose ambition is to capture power itself, is unlikely to support any constructive dialogue with the LTTE.."  

11 July 2004 US military intelligence team visits Palaly
14 July 2004 Colombo promoting Karuna to destroy LTTE with tacit approval of US  says US based think tank Stratfor 

 "...The plan is to destabilize the Tigers, bait the group into confrontation and ultimately launch an offensive aimed at destroying the fractured Tamil movement once and for all," the analysts at Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) said quoting unnamed sources inside the Sri Lankan government....Colombo probably hopes a renewed guerrilla war will be tempered by internal struggles and that, once weakened, the Tigers can be destroyed, the US analysts said....According to the US analysts, in the event of a renewed war “the Tigers will likely end up weaker - perhaps no longer in a position to make the demands for autonomy that helped cause the internal strife in the first place.” “On the other hand, baiting a wounded tiger could be a dangerous game," they cautioned.

21 July 2004 LTTE’s official periodical Viduthalai Puligal (Liberation Tigers)

"...Time is fast running out. The LTTE is prepared to wait patiently to negotiate and resolve the Tamil national question. But if the government has a hidden agenda to protract the peace process and restage a game of deception again, the Tamil people are not prepared to bear it anymore. This thinking pattern of the Tamil people, a most reasonable one at that, should be understood in the right perspective by the government and the international community..."

22 July 2004 Curb activities of paramilitaries, SLMM urges SL Government

''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

27 July 2004 Norway fears for Sri Lanka peace

"Mediators say they are not optimistic about the future of the island's peace process after a wave of violence..."

4 August 2004 A tangled web we weave - No talks on the basis of ISGA says United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge

"United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge declared Tuesday that the Sri Lanka government will not recommence peace talks with the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals submitted by the LTTE, State-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) announced in its Wednesday morning news bulletin in English, Sinhala and Tamil quoting Minister Mr.Maithiripala Sirisena, the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

...At the UPFA ex-co meeting the leaders of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) demanded the President to make her stand clear on the resumption of peace talks with the LTTE citing various media reports suggesting President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge was prepared to commence talks with the LTTE on the basis of ISGA, sources said. JVP leaders earlier warned that it would pull out from the UPFA government if it resumed peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of its ISGA proposals which they claimed to be the stepping stone for a separate state..."

4 August 2004 A tangled web we weave - Colombo denies it rejected LTTE proposal 

"..Minister Maithripala Sirisena, the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), has issued a statement Wednesday denying "there is absolutely no truth in the reports" that quoted him as saying that the Sri Lanka government will not recommence peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals.

"Minister Sirisena says that the President at an Executive Committee meeting of the ruling Alliance on 2nd August 2004 stated there is no change in her Government’s stance. The President maintains that the GOSL is willing to discuss with the LTTE, its proposal for an interim administration alongside the talks to reach a final solution acceptable to all communities." said the statement.

State-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) announced in its Wednesday morning news bulletin in English, Sinhala and Tamil quoting Minister Sirisena, that the Sri Lanka government will not recommence peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals submitted by the LTTE."

10 August 2004 Sri Lanka's U turn attacked reports BBC

"Sri Lanka's main opposition has accused the government of taking a cavalier and casual attitude towards the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. United National Party spokesman GL Peiris said the government had again changed its stand on resuming talks..."

19 August 2004

President Kumaratunga "has shown her desire to move forward on the peace process" - Press Statement by Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, U.S. Department of State Washington, DC

"Deputy Secretary Armitage has reviewed the situation in Sri Lanka with U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead, including the recurring acts of violence such as assassinations and suicide bombings. In light of this discussion, we urge the parties to take steps to work to rebuild trust and schedule the promised talks as soon as possible.

President Kumaratunga has shown her desire to move forward on the peace process launched with the2002 cease fire.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam needs to respond positively and enter talks with the Sri Lankan Government. The cease fire and a return to negotiations represent the best hope for Sri Lanka's future as a peaceful, prosperous, and unified nation. The United States stands ready to implement commitments to aid in Sri Lanka's reconstruction, but this will only be possible through a continuation of the peace process.

Real progress towards peace and an end to violence in word and deed can begin the process of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's entering the political mainstream, and result in assistance for areas in the north and east most affected by conflict. Assassinations and suicide bombings are unacceptable. The recruitment of child soldiers must cease."

25 August 2004 D.Sivaram on ISGA bashing: Much ado about nothing

"..The ceasefire is the only tangible reality of the peace process. All talk about talks is empty rhetoric. All those who do not accept this fact are either scoundrels who are using the chance to push their own ulterior agendas or are genuinely misguided gulls who sincerely believe that things would start moving in the right direction if only the Tigers and the UPFA sit across the negotiating table. The ISGA, like all and sundry proposals and plans prepared and submitted by the Tamils since 1978, cannot be implemented neither in part nor in full, come what may. It has been demonstrated ad nauseam and beyond all reasonable doubt that even an iota of regional autonomy for the Tamils beyond what has been granted under the 13th Amendment to the constitution is absolutely impossible..." more

28 August 2004

Tamils Should Realise They Stand Alone in a Hostile World - Editorial, Northeastern Monthly

"...Every few months or so, accusations of human rights violations are flung at the LTTE by various local and international actors whose concern for human suffering knows no bounds when it gives them an opportunity to cause the Tiger rebels discomfiture. ..Surely no one is na´ve enough to believe that Tamil children, who successive Sri Lankan governments butchered and forced into deprivation and displacement, are objects of such sanctity that their well-being has become a matter of international concern? The agenda behind such accusations is to exploit the child soldier issue so that the LTTE is unable to replenish its cadre – the cadre it needs if forced to fight again..." more

29 August 2004 "We will remain strong" - Senior member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, V. Balakumaran in Oslo 

"...LTTE has been successfully resisting attempts to weaken its military and political strength during the peace time with the same courage and bravery it displayed during the time of war. Tamils seek a just peace and not a peace with surrender. LTTE leadership will not relent until political and social dignity is restored to the lives of Tamil people. We are not 'Vadi Kattina Mutalkal'. We are not stupid. The world has not come to Sri Lanka to save the Tamils. They have come to save Sri Lanka. There are 50 countries who have come to help Sri Lanka. We have only one country to help us - and that is Sri Lanka (loud laughter) It is difficult to win against an intelligent and strong soldier. Today, the Tamil community has matured to that state... We are charting our path successfully towards our nationhood and are in the verge of entering a new era. Every Tamil should be cognizant of our strength and be aware of where we are in our mission... Palestinians have a lot of resources and have the backing of many countries that support their political aspirations. Still they are politically weak and are not united. Liberation Tigers will not allow such a situation to develop in the Tamil homeland." (audio: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Courtesy: TamilNatham )

31 August 2004

Ruling Sri Lanka Government Coalition Partner, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) intensifies its campaign against Sri Lankan peace talks  - WSWS

"...As part of a campaign heightening communal tensions in Sri Lanka, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is conducting a series of lectures throughout the island entitled “Who are the true enemies of peace?”. While the JVP claims to be in favour of peace, the entire thrust of these lectures, one of which was delivered in Colombo on August 17, is to plunge the country back to war....Efforts by Norwegian mediators to restart the “peace process” have stalled amid a series of assassinations and reprisals between the LTTE and a breakaway faction in the country’s east headed by V. Muralitharan, also known as Karuna. Growing evidence points to the involvement of the military in supporting Karuna’s fighters as a means for undermining the LTTE. In this context, the JVP’s campaign is lining up with the most warmongering sections of the armed forces...

The JVP’s propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa gave the lecture at Colombo’s Youth Council Centre. He began by demagogically denouncing all those promoting the peace talks as stooges for the LTTE. He branded the previous United National Front (UNF) government, which signed the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE in 2002, as “Green Tigers”—green being the UNF’s official colour. The Norwegian facilitators, he declared, were “White Tigers”. He accused various non-government organisations, which were calling for negotiations, of “crowing for dollars”.

While not specifically calling for a return to war, Weerawansa attacked the emphasis on peace, saying that it was the result of bowing to the LTTE’s pressure. Peace, he said, had to take a backseat, while “defence of the Motherland” had to be placed ahead of all other demands. In a comment that can only be interpreted as a warning to his UPFA allies, Weerawansa declared that even the government’s survival had to take second place to the defence of the country. “In all our endeavours the security of the motherland has to stay at the pinnacle,” he said, emphasising the need to “mobilise the masses to defeat this so-called peace process”..."

2 September 2004 French diplomats meet TNA foreign affairs committee

We told France if indeed talks on the ISGA commence, there is a good chance that an agreement could be reached in this matter. We said that this is exactly what the Singhalese are afraid of, as it would mean that they would no longer have a monopoly on power, and their hegemony over the Tamil nation will cease for once and for all time. We also said that it is for this reason that we suspect that the Sri Lankan government t is trying to provoke the LTTE to another war by destabilizing the east and supporting Tamil armed groups," said Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam TNA MP Thursday

8 September 2004 Dr.S.Sathananthan on the International Community & the 'Peace Process'

"...The spreading political support for the LTTE is rapidly deepening because economic links between the organisation and the Tamil people are expanding. The LTTE is the largest employer in the NEP. .. So, in addition to its undiminished military strength, the LTTE has acquired more political power and set down deep economic roots among the Tamil people.These developments have set off alarm bells among the international community. The four core States (US, EU, Norway & Japan) anticipated the Sinhala government would be intelligent enough to play along with the Oslo Declaration... But the Sinhala leadership, blinded by more than five decades of anti-Tamil hysteria, has been utterly incapable of carrying out this cosmetic ploy... States that intervene in political conflicts employ internal think-tanks that chart out a plan of action, alternative scenarios and contingency moves projected over several years into the future. We must be utterly clear that when Oslo initiated "talks" after the CFA, the Norway's plan of action must have covered at least a five-year period and tailored to achieve the strategic aim of the four core States. That aim is to undercut Tamils' political support for the LTTE and to emasculate the military power of the Tamil national movement..  Clearly the devious plans of the international community are running out of steam. This is the opportunity New Delhi has been waiting for to outmanoeuvre the Norway-led international initiative that minimised India's role in Sri Lanka. The purpose of the conference Dr Swamy has proposed must be understood in this context. It is a rescue operation mounted apparently by New Delhi to salvage President Kumaratunga's sinking political credibility. In return it expects Kumaratunga will give India a pivotal role in addressing the conflict. The tactic employed is to caricature the LTTE as anti-democratic and the Norwegians as LTTE-lovers. The immediate objective is to draw attention away from the glaring Sinhala obduracy. Presumably this conference would be designed to send New Delhi's "muscular message" to the Tamils...". .  more

16 September 2004 Thamilchelven to the JVP - Thinakural Editorial  

"...Quoting Nelsen Mandela - "In this war one will win and the other will lose. But even after the war the winner and the loser have no choice but to talk by sitting at the same table placed on a high ground full of ashes. You think the victory will be yours. We think the victory will be ours. But do not make a mistake by taking away the opportunity to respect each other as valuable enemies. Though we do not have the same views, though we are enemies, give us an opportunity to respect you."

21 September 2004 Annotated Guide to Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga Address  to UN and the Response by the Tamil National Alliance  

"...the statement made by the President in the course of her address to the United Nations that "the LTTE is refusing to return to the negotiating table" is singularly unfortunate, as it does not reflect the true factual position. The lack of clarity, the contradictions within her own government, and her inability apart from making pronouncements to take definite action to commence talks are the main stumbling blocks to the recommencement of the peace process..."

22 September 2004 Dr.S.Sathananthan on the A to Z of Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka

 "..At first intermittent "talks" with the national movement are mooted to legitimise the State's military onslaught as unavoidable and indeed made necessary by the "lawlessness" of the national movement. But when a military stalemate ensues, then "talks" become the continuation of war by other means. Having failed to disarm the national movement through force, the State then manoeuvres to draw the movement into "talks" with the principle objective of forcing it to decommission weapons.This continuation of war by other means is the so-called "peace process". If armed conflict is the power struggle at the military level, "peace process" is the power struggle at the political level..." more

23 September 2004 Ana Pararajasingham on International Community Can Help Forge Peace.

"Given the credentials of both writers, (Sathananthan is a political scientist with a Ph.D. from Cambridge and a visiting research Scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University of International Studies; Taraki is the pseudonym of Sivaram who has written extensively on the armed struggle of the Tamil people for well over a decade), one needs to give serious consideration to the essential thrust of this argument, i.e. that the international community is pursuing a plan to weaken the LTTE and prop up Colombo. .." more

1 October 2004 LTTE Constitutional Affairs Committee meets in Geneva 

"..The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the LTTE  led by Head of the LTTE's Political Wing S.P.Thamilchelvan and comprising of Head of Thamileelam Police, Mr.P.Nadesan, Head of Judiciary, Mr.Para, Secretary General of LTTE Peace Secretariat, Mr.Pulithevan, and Amparai-Batticaloa Political Head Mr.Kausalyan, joined by Chief Negotiator Mr. Anton Balasingham and his wife Adele Balasingam, met with the expatriate Legal and Constitutional experts who participated in the original formulation of the ISGA in Geneva. The meeting was chaired by Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of the LTTE's Political Wing..."

1 October 2004 Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA) Press Release

 Internal meeting of the "Constitutional Affairs Committee" of the LTTE in Geneva from 1 to 7 October  "The EDA welcomes the fact that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are holding the meeting in Geneva at their own request. One purpose of the meeting is to prepare the next round of negotiations in the peace process between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE.

On the margins of the meeting, representatives of the EDA today held talks with an LTTE delegation which included Anton Balasingham, chief LTTE negotiator in the peace talks with the Sri Lankan government, and Suppiah Paramu Tamilselvan, head of the political wing of the LTTE.The EDA delegation was led by Ambassador Rodolphe S. Imhoof, head of Political Affairs Division II, Asia/Oceania.

Top of the agenda was the present state of the peace process in Sri Lanka. The EDA welcomes the LTTE's continuing willingness to negotiate, and calls for peace talks to be resumed as soon as possible. The EDA representatives condemned all political murders and pointed out that the LTTE has taken on extensive obligations with regard to respect for human rights – including the recruitment of child soldiers – and to the development of a pluralistic society in Sri Lanka. The EDA holds the view that a possible interim administration of the north east of Sri Lanka as decided in the peace talks should be based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka. Switzerland welcomes and supports Norway's role as a facilitator in the peace process. Switzerland supports the peace process with programmes of conflict transformation and projects to strengthen human rights. It also provides advice on federalism and mine clearance, as well as running reconstruction programmes and providing development aid."

7 October 2004  Cease-Fire under Pressure - Editorial, Thinakural, Colombo based Tamil Daily

"Although two and half years have passed since the MOU was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the resultant Cease-Fire is still subject to several challenges. It is in this context that Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mr.Vidar Helgessen has expressed concerns ...LTTE Political Head Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan had also expressed similar sentiments in Geneva in calling for the disarmament of the para military groups as stipulated in Clause 1.8 of the MOU. According to this clause para military groups have to be disarmed. One cannot dismiss the LTTE’s charge of the Government’s failure to comply with this requirement. Many members of the LTTE who had attempted to carry out political work in the Government Controlled areas of Batticoala have been killed. These killings have occurred in close proximity to the Sri Lankan Army camps. If the army was not directly responsible for these acts, then it must be the para military forces. Therefore, it is the Sri Lanka Government that is answerable.

There are also killings which have taken place within areas controlled by the LTTE. The LTTE claims to have evidence that these killings too were by para military groups working in tandem with the army. The only way in which to bring these killings to an end is by disarming the para military units. It is the Government’s responsibility to do so..."
more

26 October 2004 Balasingham questions ‘Oslo Declaration’ in new book
 
13 November 2004 Peace Process? What Peace Process?

The Words of a President concerned to negotiate in good faith with the LTTE - Sri Lanka President Interview with the Brahmin owned Hindu:

"..we have to go on with the process, because one has to be knocking at the door. Even if you know that what is beyond the door could be not very pleasant, that is the only solution... for the first time  (the LTTE) has split into three. So things are changing. It is not because, I think, the personality of Prabhakaran may change... I do not expect much change from this particular leader. But movements change, other people may change, circumstances and political conjecture change. I think there is some hope.."

Comment: But Some things Never Change...President Kumaratunga in the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times,  20 August 1995 - "I have studied and acquired considerable knowledge on guerrilla warfare when I was a student in Paris, and we knew how they would behave. We conducted talks on the basis that the LTTE would not agree to any peaceful settlement and lay down arms."

 

17 November 2004 The Three Faces of President Kumaratunge's Government

"'There is no point in talking to the President alone. We must talk to the government. Therefore the Coalition government must first clarify its policy. Please tell the government that it must proclaim, in a single voice, its policy regarding the ethnic problem and the peace efforts so as to facilitate the next step in the peace effort.' Informed sources say that this is the essence of the message that the LTTE has sent to the government through the Norwegians...She is showing one face to the international community and another face to the LTTE. At the same time her partners in her coalition are showing yet another face to the Sri Lankans in the south."

19 November 2004 Knocking at the Door?   - President Kumaratunga Speaks to the BBC
 
21 November 2004 Norway putting pressure for peace talks: says Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has complained to the United States that peace broker Norway was putting undue pressure on it while sparing Tamil Tiger rebels, a media report said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga lodged the complaint in a telephone conversation with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage last week, the 'Sunday Times' here reported."The President complained that the recent Norwegian peace delegation to Colombo had applied pressure on her, while not doing the same to the rebels," the newspaper said. more

19 November 2004 US Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage on 'consistency and forthrightness' - and truth?

"President Kumaratunga has been consistent and forthright in her commitment to settling outstanding issues in the peace process in the framework of a united Sri Lanka." US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage

"தூங்கிறவனை எழுப்பலாம், தூங்கிறவன் போல் நடிக்கிறவனை எழுப்பவது கடினம்" தமிழ் தேசிய  தலைவர், வே.பிரபாகரன்  more

27 November 2004

Velupillai Pirabaharan's Maha Veerar Naal Address

'Though we have entered into a ceasefire agreement and observed peace for three years and participated in the peace talks for six months, our people have not yet received any peace dividends. The intolerable burden of the day-to-day life problems is suffocating our people. Our people are desperately anticipating relief and resolutions to their urgent existential problems. For these reasons we want the immediate resumption of peace talks, based on our proposal, so that an interim administrative authority can be established as early as possible to address the grievances of our people. If some elements of our proposals are deemed problematic or controversial, these issues can be resolved through discussions at the negotiating table. Once the interim administrative authority is institutionalised and becomes functional we are prepared to engage in negotiations for a permanent settlement to the ethnic problem. That is our position.

Our position is reasonable. We are advocating this position in relation to the actuality of the concrete conditions prevailing in the Tamil homeland. Nevertheless, President Kumaratunga is inviting us for talks on a permanent solution, advancing a position that even an interim administrative set-up should be worked out within the contours of a final settlement. We can point out different reasons as to why she gives primacy to talks on a permanent solution. One reason could be her strategy to satisfy extremist racist elements, particularly to placate the JVP, who are deadly opposed to our proposal for an interim administration. The second reason could be to impress upon the international community that she is genuinely committed to resolving the Tamil national question. The third reason could be to prolong the peace negotiations indefinitely by opting to talk on a most intractable and complex issue. We can come up with several other reasons. Whatever the real reason, we can clearly and confidently say one thing; it is apparent from the inconsistent and contradictory statements made by President Kumaratunga that her government is not going to offer the Tamil people either an interim administration or a permanent solution...

We cannot continue to be entrapped in a political vacuum without an interim solution or a permanent settlement, without a stable peace and without peace of mind. ..There are borderlines to patience and expectations. We have now reached the borderline. At this critical moment we wish to make an urgent appeal to the Sri Lanka government. We urge the government to resume the peace negotiations without conditions, based on our proposal for an Interim Self-Governing Authority. If the Government of Sri Lanka rejects our urgent appeal and adopts delaying tactics, perpetuating the suffering of our people, we have no alternative other than to advance the freedom struggle of our nation. We call upon the concerned international governments to understand our predicament and prevail upon the Sri Lanka government to resume peace talks based on our fair and reasonable stand.'" more

30 November 2004 Southern consensus, a prerequisite to resume talks- Thinakural 

"Is the Sri Lanka Government, which tells the world that LTTE is unwilling to talk about permanent solution, prepared to talk to the Tigers with clarity of purpose and in one voice? If not, is the government at least prepared to acknowledge that its call for talk on permanent solution is not genuine?" questioned the editorial of the popular Tamil daily Thinakural referring to the annual speech of the LTTE leader. The editorial said that LTTE's position on ISGA is "rooted in the reality that the Tamils will not receive any permanent solution from the southern polity which stands divided and confused."

"Mr. Pirapaharan says that talks regarding permanent peace would be meaningful only if there is consensus coupled with, clear and straight vision in the southern Political parties on the question of the fundamental aspirations of the Tamils" the edit noted.

  President cannot prolong No war, No peace situation - Jaffna Daily 

"...the President, the head of the Government, who has been "dilly dallying on the peace talks and the peace process may brush aside the LTTE leader's call with her usual indifference without understanding the real import of it". However, the President cannot "drag her feet any longer and prolong this situation of 'no war' and 'no permanent peace", the paper warned. "If the cease fire agreement and the memorandum of Understanding brought into existence by the government headed by Ranil Wickramasinga is to survive then the President must take urgent constructive steps. This is a must. It is this message that is sternly and clearly conveyed by the Heroes' Day speech. If the President permits it to be dragged in the direction the Sinhala Chauvinists pull then nothing could prevent this county being engulfed in another bloody war." the paper said.

"This is today’s reality." it declared."If the president thinks that she can have the Tamils locked in a political vaccum and proceed with her power 'chess game' for her selfish ends then she lives in a dream world of her own" declared the edit."

30 November 2004 'State your stand', Tamil MP tells President, JVP, UNP 

"Members of the ruling party and media in the South are treating the LTTE leader's speech lightly. He says little but has achieved much. He does what he says. Hence accept his call and resume the peace talks. State your stand on the Tamil question unequivocally. If you do, then we can decide the path we have to take", said Mr.Selvarajah Gajendran, Tamil National Alliance MP for Jaffna speaking on the Sri Lankan government budget in Parliament Tuesday 30 November 2004. Speaking further the MP said: "The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, United National Party and President Kumaratunga have not stated their stand on the Tamil people's right to self determination, the Tamil homeland and Tamils' status as a distinct nationality. Respond to the LTTE leader's call if you have courage and political honesty", Mr. Gajendran said.

1 December 2004 Media Release by Sri Lanka Ministry of Information.
The Government is engaged in a careful study of the statement of the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam made on November 27th. The absence of direct negotiations since April 2003 is of no benefit to anyone and is unsustainable. Following its election to office in April this year, the UPFA Government has, therefore, made serious, sincere and consistent efforts to reopen talks with the LTTE. These efforts are well known to the people of Sri Lanka and to the international community.

A call, couched in threatening language, from the LTTE now for a resumption of negotiations without conditions, while setting conditions itself by insisting unilaterally on a single agenda item is scarcely conducive to good faith negotiations.

The Government of Sri Lanka has conveyed publicly, and through the kind facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government, its readiness to discuss the establishment of an interim authority to meet the urgent humanitarian and development needs of the people of the North and East as a priority, while exploring a permanent settlement along the lines of the document signed and accepted by the Government and the LTTE in Oslo on December 5, 2002. It also remains firmly committed to the strict maintenance of the Ceasefire Agreement and condemns all violations and actions jeopardizing the prevailing ceasefire and which caused fear and thereby tensions among the civil population, leading to the undue rupture of the sensitive balance of ethnic groups presently maintained by the Government with the objective of safeguarding the ceasefire and taking the peace process forward.

The Government of Sri Lanka is in communication with the Royal Norwegian Government on future steps to be taken in the peace process.
2 December 2004 "Impending disaster is SL President's own making"- Jaffna daily
3 December 2004 Govt. wants full dialogue with LTTE says Foreign Minister Kadirgamar

"The President and the government intend to discuss the peace process completely as a whole and not necessarily basing it on the ISGA proposals, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told parliament (on 3 December 2004). Minister Kadirgamar said both parties should take stock of the present situation and resume talks soon despite confusions, controversies and doubts surrounding the peace process. "The factual situation is that the President wants to talk about the whole process, not only on the ISGA. There is a gap, and we must negotiate about it, and I must add that our Government is committed towards the resumption of peace talks," he said. Mr. Kadirgamar was interrupted several times by TNA Leader R. Sambandan who wanted clarifications especially regarding the government's stand on the ISGA. "Nobody wants the ceasefire agreement to break up. But the LTTE and especially the TNA which represents the LTTE here should understand that this is not a one-sided affair. You need both hands to clap," Mr. Kadirgamar said. Meanwhile, responding to a query by Opposition Chief Whip Mahinda Samarasinghe on the Government stand on Norway, the minister said the government would continue with its policy to work with Norway as facilitators. "The JVP has from time to time voiced its disapproval about Norway, even the Government has. But I have not come across a detailed motion calling for the removal of Norway by the Government. On the other hand the JHU has moved a motion in parliament asking us to remove Norway. We will continue to work with them as facilitators," he said.

3 December 2004 Sri Lanka must start talks based on ISGA say Jaffna NGOs
4 December 2004 Counter proposals not conducive to peace says Vanni MP
4 December 2004 Peace Process? What Peace Process? - Massive rise in Sri Lankan firepower amid peace

Sri Lanka’s armed forces substantially expanded their offensive capability after the ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers was signed in February 2002, a book published by a senior United States military analyst says. The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has doubled its manpower and acquired twenty new aircraft, while the Army (SLA) has tripled its tanks and doubled its artillery firepower. In a book titled "Sri Lanka’s military: The Search For A Mission" published this year, Brian Blodgett, a career United States Army intelligence officer and an adjunct professor with the American Military, examines the historical evolution of Colombo’s armed forces and says -

  • "While peace negotiations were occurring, the SLA increased its armour, APCs (armoured personnel carriers) and artillery,"
  • "The army nearly doubled its artillery, from 97 in 2001 to 187 in 2002,"  "The army increased its APCs by approximately 70 percent, from 158 to 204."
  • Furthermore, in 2001, shortly before signing the present ceasefire agreement with the LTTE in February, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) purchased 40 new battle tanks in addition to the 25 (of which at least 18 were then operational) that it possessed.
  • "The air force remained at 10,000 airmen until 2002 when it nearly doubled its size to 19,300 airmen - The air force continues to have high recruitment since the majority of airmen never face combat."
  • "In 2002, the SLA’s [official] strength increased dramatically … from 95,000] to approximately 118,000 soldiers," However, "it was impossible to determine the [SLA’s] exact strength due to the large number of desertions,"  "Recruitment to the SLA is extremely difficult [and retention] is poor,"
  • Sri Lanka’s Navy, which began a major expansion shortly before the ceasefire, continued after negotiations began."In 2001, the SLN increased its manpower by 80 percent to 18,000 sailors. By 2003, the navy had approximately 20,600 sailors," Unlike the Army, the Navy "did not have any problems recruiting or retaining sailors" in this period, he adds.The naval expansion came because in 2000, the Sri Lanka government “decided the Navy needed to be the first line of defence against the LTTE.” The government believes "if the navy could stop the flow of weapons and ammunition to the LTTE, the army could defeat them"
  • "after losing Elephant Pass to the LTTE [in 2000] and having its subsequent [Agnie Khiela] offensive [in 2001] stopped after only 72 hours, the SLA decided that it needed additional firepower to defeat the LTTE,"  
  • "The SLAF bought 10 Mi-35s [export versions of the Mi-24 helicopter gunship] and 10 transports," The SLAF has thereby "increased its attack helicopters to 24."
  • Perhaps in response to SLA officers’ arguments that "jets are unnecessary because they are too fast and come from too far," the SLAF may be shifting its doctrine in favour of rotary wing instead of fixed wing close support. But "due to a dearth of pilots and limited training establishments [in Sri Lanka], most of the trainees are undergoing advanced flight training in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh." 
  • As a consequence of the purchase of new equipment, "the SLA appears to be prepared to carry on the war against the LTTE.  But despite the military’s expansions, Sri Lanka is underprepared to engage the LTTE. The current ceasefire has "forced troops back to their barracks where they are losing their edge. Deserting is rampant throughout infantry units [which form] the largest percentage of SLA troops"
  •  “The emergence of a more heavily armed LTTE at the start of this decade caught the SLA by surprise (once again) and it is likely that the LTTE is continuing with its training and equipping,”  "[The present military] remains incapable of protecting the island from internal threat and is unprepared and ill-equipped for an external threat,"
  • "The emergence of a more heavily armed LTTE with dedicated soldiers fighting for a clear objective proved that the military forces had met their match. "[The army’s] forces are incapable of defeating the LTTE with either conventional or unconventional tactics,"
  • By contrast, in reference to the crushing of the Janatha Vimukthi Perumana insurgency." the military of the 1980s proved it could fight an unconventional war, and by wantonly killing anyone it perceived a threat, it could win a war,"
6 December 2004 "We are being pushed again in to the war era" says Federation of Public Organizations of Vavuniya District in letter to President Kumaratunga
6 December 2004 Sri Lanka rejects LTTE's Offer for Talks & vows to strengthen its armed forces

"..Sri Lanka on Monday vowed to do whatever it takes to strengthen its security forces and meet any threat after rejecting LTTE conditions to revive peace negotiations... "We will strengthen armed forces in terms of men, material, ideas and weapons," Wickremanayake said during a debate on the defence budget which goes up by eight per cent in the 2005 budget. "We are ready to meet any threat to this sovereign nation."  Parliament today approved the defence ministry spending of 56.29 billion rupees ($541 million), up from 52.08 billion rupees this year. "

14 December 2004 World Bank Supports Sri Lanka's Peace Through Housing Reconstruction and Development
 
14 December 2004 Address the JVP problem - Tokyo co-chairs urge President

"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 reaffirmed their support for the President's efforts to resume peace talks. They 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."  more

15 December 2004 GoSL entirely responsible for resuming talks - LTTE

"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. more

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