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What Is India News Service
Monday, September 11, 2006


Journal of Indo-Sri Lankan Relations



 

 

 

Issue 1, September 11, 2006

   
 

Executive Summary

Post-colonial democratic Sri Lanka adopted a divisive Constitution that essentially colonized the minority Tamil population of the North and East. Initially, the Sri Lankan Tamils (Tamils) started a movement that was peaceful. Successive negotiations and deals were unilaterally violated by successive SL Governments (SLG) leading to a severe rupture in trust between ethnic Sinhalese and Tamils which blew into violent conflict. 

The Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 had many opponents in India , Sri Lanka , and among the Tamils. The failure of the Accord, disastrous Indian experience with the Indian Peace Keeping Force, and Rajiv Gandhi assassination paralyzed Indian policy on Sri Lanka. 

A military stalemate early 21st Century brought Norwegian negotiated ceasefire which created internal divisions among Tamils and a rearming of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA). Ceasefire and human rights violations by the SLA and LTTE became rampant and ultimately broke into Civil War.  

Despite limitations imposed by warring parties, domestic politics, and past experiences, India cannot be a silent spectator since it has several strategic interests at stake. Assuming diplomatic leadership, introducing human rights monitoring in Sri Lanka, establishing track 2 dialogue with the LTTE, creating a contact group in South India, and sensitizing the SLG on reality are some of the steps India must undertake immediately.

Background and Policy Hibernation

Ceasefire, Human Rights Violations & Peace Talks

India's Role

Ceasefire

  • SLMM Collapses, Ceasefire Dead as Civil War Looms (August 02, 2006)
    Sri Lanka moved ground troops following air force raids on a “humanitarian operation” to take control of a water reservoir in an ill-defined area but controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sparking the Tamils to declare the ceasefire dead.
     

  • LTTE Insists on Change in Monitor (July 24, 2006)
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has reiterated to the visiting Ambassador-at-Large of Swedish Foreign Ministry that there is no change in its demand for withdrawal of EU monitors  from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) by September 1. 

  • LTTE Wants EU Monitors Removed (June 22, 2006)
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has categorically told Norwegian peace facilitators in Sri Lanka that it will not accept truce monitors from the European Union (EU) because of the terrorism-related ban on LTTE in Europe.

  •  Oslo Talks Non-Starter (June 09, 2006)
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) surprised Norway facilitators saying that they will not meet with the Sri Lankan Government (SLG) delegation as it was not representative of Sri Lanka and also because of the presence of European Union members.

  •  Lanka and LTTE Agrees for Ceasefire (February 24, 2006)
    The Sri Lankan Government (SLG) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) concluded Norway facilitated direct talks in Geneva agreeing to 4 action items and promised to meet again in April.

  •  Norway Criticizes LTTE ( January 16, 2006)
    The Norwegian-led truce monitoring mission in Sri Lanka criticized the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of violating the ceasefire that has cause 125 deaths since December 2005.
     

  • Lanka & LTTE Accuse Each other of violations ( January 14, 2006)
    Sri Lankan army officials say that they shot down a suspected Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam operative who threw a grenade into an army encampment.

Peace Dialogue

  • LTTE Will Study EU Ban First (June 01, 2006)
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which was slapped by a ban by the European Union (EU) recently said that it will first meet with the main EU interlocutor Norway and study the ban before deciding if it will go to the peace talks.
     

  • Lanka Teeters on the Brink of Civil War (May 3, 2006)
    Sri Lanka appeared slowly drifting towards civil war even as last ditch attempts by Norway to negotiate a seaplane transport arrangement for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) negotiators to go to Geneva for the peace talks.

  • LTTE Withdraws from Geneva Talks (April 17, 2006)
    Accusing the Sri Lankan Government (SLG) of creating many “hurdles” and a lack of “conducive environment,” the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has withdrawn from the ongoing Geneva talks scheduled to restart April 19.
     

  • India Wants “Southern Consensus” in Lanka (April 05, 2006)
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told former Sri Lankan Prime Minister and current Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe that Lanka needs a “southern consensus” between the two major parties to deal with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). 

  • LTTE Wants Safe Passage (April 01, 2006)
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have demanded a safe passage from the Sri Lankan Government (Lanka) to fly out of the only international airport in Colombo to attend April 19-21 negotiations in Switzerland. 

  • Lanka-LTTE Start Rocky Peace Talks (February 23, 2006)
    The peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government (SLG) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) got off to a rocky start as the LTTE objected to the truce accord is changed.

  • Rajapakse Offers Power Sharing (February 15, 2006)
    Ahead of talks in Geneva , Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said that he does not favor a separate country for the Tamils in the North and East.

  •  Solheim Restarts Lanka-LTTE Peace Process (January 26, 2006)
    Norwegian Minister for International Development Erik Solheim met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to bring the Government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam back to the peace process.

  • All Lanka Parties Want LTTE Talks ( January 21, 2006)
    An all party meeting called by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse recommended the resumption of talk with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Terrorism

  • Lankan Deputy Army Chief Killed (June 28, 2006)
    Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle on a car carrying Deputy Chief of Sri Lankan Army killing him and 3 others and injuring 8.

  • LTTE Strikes after Ban Call (April 26, 2006)

    A day after the Sri Lanka called on the international community to ban the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), it deployed a suicide bomber to assassinate a senior decorated military commander seen as a hawk wanting stricter action against LTTE.

  • Sri Lanka Wants LTTE Banned (April 25, 2006)

    A senior Sri Lankan Government (SLG) functionary accused the LTTE of failure to continue with the peace process and honoring ceasefire agreements and called on the European Union (EU) to follow-through with its threat to ban the outfit.

  • US Calls LTTE as "Reprehensible Terrorist Group"  (January 25, 2006)
    The United States Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns described the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a "reprehensible terrorist group" keeping Sri Lanka "on the edge of war."

Humanitarian

  • Disappearances on Rise in South Asia (September, 06 2006)
    As nations of South Asia fight terrorism, Amnesty International (AI) says that “enforced disappearances” of people is growing and while “new patterns” are emerging from Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

  • Lanka Promises Large Aid for Tamil Areas (July 12, 2006)
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse asked his advisors to study the Indian devolution model to share power with Tamils of the North and North East and promised a USD 1.25 billion tranche as means to bring the bloody ethnic feud to an end.

  • SLMM Says Lanka Army behind Civilian Killings (May 12, 2006)
    For the first time, the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has acknowledged that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA), sponsored militia, and rebel factions of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been behind civilian disappearances and extra-judicial killings.

  •  LTTE Break-off Faction Threatens Supporters (April 04, 2006)
    A break off faction of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has threatened its supporters of dire consequences if they did not vacate homes and businesses seized by the mainline group from the Muslims of the island in 1990.

  •  HRW Accuses LTTE (March 16, 2006)
    US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is extorting money from Tamil populations settled in Canada, Britain, and Europe often under threat of serious consequences.

  •  UNICEF Accuses LTTE (February 18, 2006 )
    In response to a call from the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) announced that it release 28 child soldiers.

  •  LTTE Condemns Kidnap of 5 Tamils (February 02, 2006)
    The LTTE strongly reacted to the abduction of five Tamil aid workers by unidentified men. It said that it could be "Sri Lankan forces or it may be the Karuna group."

Indian Interests

  • SLA Claims Military Successes as TN Censures It (August 21, 2006)
    The Sri Lankan Army has claimed several major successes against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) even as the Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution censuring the Government for the death of scores of children by air attacks. 

  •  LTTE to Stay Banned, No Lanka Intervention (August 10, 2006)
    The National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said that India has no plans to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and for “direct intervention” in peace initiatives in Sri Lanka where hostilities has escalated rapidly to civil war proportions.

  •  TN Politician Says No Aid to Lanka (July 20, 2006)
    Extreme right wing {Tamil Nadu} local politician Vaiko urged the Federal Government not to provide military, material, or financial assistance to Sri Lanka that would enable “the Sri Lankan Air Force to strafe and bomb the Tamil areas, killing innocent Tamils.”

  •  LTTE Regrets Rajiv Gandhi Assassination (June 29, 2006)
    In a virtual admission of guilt, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Chief Peace Negotiator and Ideologue, Anton Balasingham said that his organization deeply regretted the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

  •  Lanka Seeks Indian Help to Resume Talks (May 9, 2006)
    Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and opposition leaders asking for their support to influence the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to resume negotiations again.

   

 

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