Ilankai Tamil Sangam

28th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Solutions Proposed to Settle the Ethnic Conflict

by Tamil Centre for Human Rights, September 9, 2008

Submitted to UN Human Rights Council

Year Type of political solution Result
1957 Banda-Chelva pact – Regional Councils Unilaterally abrogated GOSL.
1965 Dudley-Chelva pact – District Councils  Unilaterally abrogated GOSL.

Proposals placed by the Tamil Federal Party
(A federal form of government with an autonomous Tamil-Muslims state and three autonomous Sinhala states)

Rejected by the GOSL.
1979 Presidential Commission to report on creation of District Development Councils

This did not fulfil the Tamils’ aspirations.
Not intended to provide a different political or administrative structure for any particular part of the country.

1983 All Party Conference

(Proposals merely extended the scheme of decentralization at District level to the Provincial level with limited co-ordination)

TULF rejected these proposals as it was not the originally formulated set of proposals, known as Annexure – C.


In Thimpu - Devolution proposal by Sri Lanka
(District councils without executive power)

Thimpu (principle) proposal placed by Tamils
(Homeland, Nationhood, right to Self-determination and equal rights)

Rejected by the Tamil representatives.



Rejected by the GOSL.

Talks collapsed because while the talks took place Sri Lanka renewed its military offensive in the North East.


19 December” proposals by Indian envoys 
(Formation of a new Eastern Province by excising Sinhalese majority areas and the creationof two Tamil Provincial Councils in the Northern and the reconstituted Eastern Province)

GOSL expressed reservations and eventually rejected this proposal.

Indo-Lanka Accord (Provincial Councils)                         (North and Eastern Provinces merged under this Accord. 95% Tamils didn’t  support this Accord.)

After 18 years, the Sri Lanka Supreme Court rejected this merger on 16 October 2006.

Premadasa Talks 
(LTTE formed a political party, the PFLT, and prepared to contest in the elections)

The holding of fresh elections in North East never took place. Prevented LTTE from demonstrating its support from the people in North East.
1992-93 Parliamentary Select Committee Reports

(President D.B.Wijetunga said that there is no 'ethnic problem.')

Eyewash for benefit of International Community.
No progress was made.

1995 Devolution Package
(Refused to recognise the existence of the Tamil homeland, rejected an asymmetric approach, continued to treat all the provinces in the same way)
Rejected by Buddhist Maha Sanga and other Sinhala political parties.
2003 ISGA proposal by LTTE    
(Interim Self-Governing Administration)   

Rejected by the GOSL and other extreme Sinhala political parties.


Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure – PTOMS

Rejected by the Sri Lanka Supreme Court

All Party Conference*  

Not ALL political parties invited to participate in its discussions. Tamil National Alliance, especially, was kept away.

Sinhala political parities UNP, JVP, JHU strongly against its proposals.


Mr. N. Satyendra, a scholar and legal expert who participated in the earlier political  negotiations with GOSL, described the  legislation as a "comic opera." The provisions of the 13th Amendment are impossibly "burlesque and farcical," he stated. Further Parliamentarians  and academics described this proposal as ‘political mockery’.

GOSL = Government of Sri Lanka


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