Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Proposed Solutions to Settle the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka

by Tamil Centre for Human Rights, March 2008

Rest of report to UN Human Rights Council

Failed Talkes & Abrogated Pacts in Sri Lanka

Year Type of Political Solution Result
1957 Banda-Chelva pact – Regional Councils Unilaterally abrogated by GOSL
1965 Dudley-Chelva pact – District Councils  Unilaterally abrogated GOSL
1970  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.
1985 In Thimpu - The devolution proposal by Sri Lanka (District councils without executive power) Thimpu (principle) proposal placed by Tamils (Homeland, Nationhood, Right to self-determination)

Rejected by the Tamil representatives

Rejected by the GOSL
Talks collapsed because while the talks take place Sri Lanka renewed its military offensive in the North East

1986 “19 December” proposals by Indian envoys (Formation of a new Eastern Province by excising Sinhalese majority areas and the creation of two Tamil Provincial Councils in the Northern and the reconstituted Eastern Province) GOSL expressed reservations and eventually rejected this proposal.
1987 Indo-Lanka Accord (Provincial Councils) (North and Eastern Provinces were merged under this accord. 95% Tamils didn’t support this accord)  After 18 years, the Sri Lanka Supreme Court rejected this merger 16 October 2006
1989-90 Premadasa Talks 
(LTTE formed a political party-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 to 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
2005 Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure – PTOMS Rejected by the Sri Lanka Supreme Court
2007 All Party Conference*
Sinhala political parities UNP, JVP, JHU strongly against its proposals
Not ALL political parties invited to participate in its discussions. Tamil National Alliance, especially was kept away.

 

*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
LTTE = Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam