Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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The Oslo Talks

by an observer & TamilNet, June 9, 2006

The accurate truth is that the Norwegian government invited the LTTE to discuss the security of the Monitors in Oslo.  After the invitation was accepted by the LTTE, the GOSL was also invited on the same dates to Oslo. There was no agreement in word or writing that the LTTE would sit opposite to the GOSL and talk. Oslo hoped that they can coax the LTTE when they are in Oslo to sit with the GOSL. If the LTTE had been required to sit with the GOSL, they would never would have come.


There is a wrong impression being created  by the interested press around the world that the LTTE withdrew from the talks. This is absolutely a wrong impression created by the GOSL. The accurate truth is that the Norwegian government invited the LTTE to discuss the security of the Monitors in Oslo.  After the invitation was accepted by the LTTE, the GOSL was also invited on the same dates to Oslo. There was no agreement in word or writing that the LTTE would sit opposite to the GOSL and talk. Oslo hoped that they can coax the LTTE when they are in Oslo to sit with the GOSL. If the LTTE had been required to sit with the GOSL, they would never would have come. Oslo thought that they could pull this off with IC pressure and arms twisting.

It must be also noted that the LTTE delegation agreed to meet the GOSL on Thursday 8th evening, but only between the heads of the two peace secretaries; that is Pulidavan and Palitha Kohnona and their assistants. The GOSL wanted Tamilchelvam to be present, which he refused as there was no senior memberr from GOSL in his level. As there was no agreement to meet together, the LTTE did not bring this issue of senior members for the meetings earler.

Today there will be press conference at the Continental Hotel in Oslo at 10 PM where Thamilchelvam will explain events in detail. I hope everyone is aware of the actual situation. ”

An observer


Sri Lanka's quick exit from Norway, a political blunder - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, June 09, 2006 15:07 GMT]

Sri Lanka delegation left Thorbjørnrud Hotel in Jevnaker, Oslo, mid day Thursday, boycotting talks scheduled to continue until Friday, after being present at the talks venue for only half a day. "Sri Lanka displaying crass exhibitionism, has abandoned all norms of diplomatic protocol by disrespecting the efforts of Norwegian facilitators by making a quick exit from Norway. It is a major political blunder," said S.P.Thamilchelvan speaking to reporters at 4:00 p.m. Friday, sources from Norway said.

"Even if Colombo had found the initial progress unacceptable, they had the diplomatic responsibility to wait and observe if the efforts of Norway to improve the situation between the parties were bearing any results, and to clearly articulate their disagreements to the other participants. By abandoning the talks they have set a bad precedent to the worsening relationship among the parties and had further jeopardized the tenuous Cease Fire Agreement," Thamilchelvan added.

The press briefing was held after the LTTE delegation met with Swedish Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and Norwegian peace envoy, Hans Bauer, at 2:00 p.m., Friday.

Thamilchelvan said that during the meeting the SLMM Head had conveyed the SLMM's decision to not engage in any monitoring of sea-activities until the current dispute between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE is resolved by the parties.

"The matters related to the use of maritime waters adjoining the Tamil Homeland is a critical component of maintaining the military parity that existed when the CFA was signed. Our leadership is therefore unlikely to make compromises that will affect this parity," Thamilchelvan said.

While accusing the Sri Lanka Government for its campaign to discredit the Libertion Tigers and lobbying the international community to proscribe the Tigers, Thamilchelvan said the European Union ban resulted largely as a result of Colombo's insistance. He, however, thanked the monitors of Denmark, Finland and Sweden for their tireless efforts as part of the SLMM.

"We have no objections to talking to the monitors from member countries of the European Union, as we have demonstrated even today. What we have problems with are the formal engagement of the members from EU in adjudicating critical matters on the ground," Thamilchelvan said in the press briefing.

"The conduct of the Sri Lanka Government is indicative of their bona fides towards the peace process. Instead of showing good faith towards promoting peace, Colombo, during the last several years have been working with focussed mission to discredit and proscribe the Tigers among the international community," Thamilchelvan said.

Norwegian facilitators have sent five key questions to both the Sri Lankan President Rajapakse and to the LTTE Leader Pirapaharan.

Sources in Colombo said that the Norwegians have given until 20 June for the parties to respond.

Sources in Colombo also said that Sri Lanka Government has criticised the SLMM for releasing a report in the SLMM's website that was originally planned for release after Geneva-II.


Undue emphasis on direct talks sidelined key issues - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, June 08, 2006 23:46 GMT]

Preoccupied with bringing Sri Lankan government and the LTTE delegations to face-face talks, Norwegian facilitators had placed less emphasis on engaging with key issues at stake, and more on convincing the two sides to sit opposite to each other, the head of the LTTE’s Political Wing, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, told reporters Thursday evening.

He said that the LTTE had come to Oslo, at Norway’s invitation, to discuss issues related to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) with Norway, which is responsible for the SLMM.

Mr. Thamilchelvan said whilst there was no obligation on part of the LTTE to meet the Sri Lankan delegation, the head of the Tigers' Peace Secretariat was prepared to meet his counterpart, Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat Head, Palitha Kohana, who was leading the Sri Lankan delegation, which did not include any senior government figures.

Nadesan and Thamilchelvan in Oslo June 9, 2006

[L-R] Tamileelam Police Chief B. Nadesan and LTTE's Pollitical Head S. P. Thamilchelvan

Mr. Thamilchelvan expressed regret that Norwegian facilitators, whilst criticising the LTTE for not agreeing to face-to-face talks, had not pointed out the Sri Lankan government delegation’s refusal of the LTTE offer, and GoSL delegations' insistence that they meet senior LTTE officials.

Mr. Thamilchelvan further said that his delegation would Friday discuss the issues related to sea movement and convey the LTTE leadership's responses to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the Norwegian facilitators.

Responding to a question how LTTE viewed the international response to the escalation of violence, Mr. Thamilchelvan said although the international community was expressing concern over extra-judicial killings by the Sri Lankan armed forces, it had stopped short of taking action against the government of Sri Lanka.

“This situation should change in order to create the necessary environment to engage the Sri Lankan government in a peace process,” Mr. Thamilchelvan said. “It should be borne in mind that the whole process has been blocked by the non-implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, in particular, the basic issue of disarming the military’s paramilitary groups.”

The International Community has failed to exert credible pressure on Sri Lanka to disarm the paramilitaries, Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

Mr. Thamilchelvan pointed out that facilitating peace in Sri Lanka was a difficult task, cited comments by the late Major General Trond Furuhovde, the first head of the SLMM, who argued in an article shortly before his death earlier this year that a facilitator must act not just proactively in relation to the two parties but follow a strategy that allowed Norway to become a constructive partner for peace.


LTTE’s Oslo Communique

June 9, 2006
Oslo, Norway

The de facto State of Tamil Eelam exercising jurisdiction over 70 percent of the Tamil Homeland, with control over the seas appurtenant there, with its own laws, independent judiciary, police force and full administrative apparatus; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), being the authentic representative of the Tamil Nation and its sole interlocutor in the current peace process facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government; the LTTE acting as the sole defender and protector of the Tamil Nation, its People and the State institutions with its modern defence forces;

Noting that the Tamil Nation's peaceful resistances over a period of three decades by non-violent means were brutally crushed by the Sinhala Nation;

Noting that such brutal crushing was due primarily to the absence of balance of power;

Noting the reality that in international relations, it is the balance of power which would ensure a democratic relationship between parties to the conflict that would ensure a just and equitable resolution of national conflicts;

Noting that the LTTE wants just peace and normalcy for the suffering People of the Tamil Nation declared a unilateral ceasefire December 2000;

Noting that when the GoSL dismissed the LTTE's positive gesture in declaring a unilateral ceasefire and initiated the Agnikela battle, the LTTE again demonstrated the balance of power and opened the door for peace once again by declaring a unilateral ceasefire in December 2001, which with the facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government resulted in the Ceasefire Agreement signed on February 22, 2002;

Noting that the Ceasefire Agreement was entered into outside the scope of the Constitution of the Sinhala Nation;

Noting that prior to the commencement of peace talks the LTTE repeatedly stated that the immediate goal of the talks was the establishment of an interim administration for the purpose of addressing the urgent humanitarian problems of the people of the northeast, including displaced persons from the High Security Zones;

Noting that during the war children were traumatized with the presence of the army in schools and the Ceasefire Agreement required their removal from schools;

Noting that the Sinhala political party that won the parliamentary election in 2002 ran on a platform of establishing an interim administration in the northeast;

Noting that when the Sinhala political party that represented the GoSL at that time indicated that if it entered into talks on the proposed interim administration it would be removed from power by the Sri Lankan President, the LTTE showed flexibility and dropped its call for an interim administration, because it did not want the negotiating process to break down;

Noting that the mechanisms agreed on by the GoSL and the LTTE in lieu of the interim administration of a joint task force and subcommittees did not materialize due to delays and obstruction by the GoSL;

Noting that even though the purview of the above mentioned mechanism was the northeast, the LTTE accommodated an equal membership of the GoSL and thereby gave the GoSL veto power on the affairs of the northeast;

Noting the reneging of the GoSL pledge to seek funds for the development as equal partner with the LTTE by convening a donor conference in Washington prior to the Tokyo conference, without the participation of the Tamil Nation, and attempting to isolate it in the international arena resulting in the non- participation of the Tamil Nation at the Tokyo Conference of donor countries;

Noting the failure of the GoSL armed forces to vacate civilian homes, schools and places of worship in accordance with the CFA and humanitarian laws, thereby preventing many thousands of Tamil refugees and internally displaced persons from returning to their homes in the High Security Zones;

Noting the failure of the GoSL to avoid traumatization and mental torture of children in schools by not removing their armed forces' presence from the schools and in fact by increasing their presence in schools with combat-ready weapons and body searches including girls in the presence of male armed personnel;

Noting that the objective of the CFA is to preserve the status-quo and the balance of power, and donor countries including the Co-Chairs have assisted the government in providing military equipment and assistance that could result in a shift in the balance of military power;

Noting the repeated assertions of the GoSL that it has established a "international safety net" against the LTTE and the International Community's failure to repudiate them;

Noting that in view of the above developments, the LTTE suspended talks to make the GoSL move on to the next stage in a meaningful manner and to exert pressure on the GoSL to fulfill the pledges it made;

Noting that in three separate incidents at sea in 2003 the lives of 26 LTTE members were taken and the LTTE's merchant vessels were sunk in international waters, and the restraint shown by the LTTE;

Noting that several proposals for interim administration made by the GoSL did not meet the legitimate expectations of the Tamil Nation and would have resulted in the same ineffectiveness of the previous mechanisms;

Noting the submission of the Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) by the LTTE incorporating democratic principles, elections, independent judiciary, independent human rights commission, transparency and accountability;

Noting that the representatives of the Muslim Community have the right to participate in formulation of their role in the ISGA and protection of the interest of northeastern Muslims in accordance with international human rights norms;

Noting that when the GoSL agreed to recommence talks on the basis of the ISGA, the President at the time dissolved parliament on February 7, 2004;

Noting the landslide victory of the Tamil National Alliance comprising TULF, ACTC, TELO and EPRLF(Suresh faction), which contended in general election on the mandate that LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamils;

Noting the suspension of the facilitation by the Norwegian government due to the confusion and lack of clarity created by the GoSL;

Noting the devastation of the island by the tsunami irrespective of race or religion;

Noting the international community's commitment to provide relief in a just and equitable manner to the victims of the tsunami in the northeast and south;

Noting that the tsunami washed away the livelihood of the Tamils already devastated by the 20-year war;

Noting the GoSL's prevention of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's planned humanitarian visit to the tsunami-affected areas in the northeast;

Noting the proposal for establishment of a post-tsunami operational management structure (P-TOMS) by the Royal Norwegian Government;

Noting the LTTE's flexibility in accepting the P-TOMS and its hopes that the spirit of cooperation would compensate the lack of political power and structural infirmity of the P-TOMS;

Noting the scuttling of the P-TOMS by the judicial branch of the GoSL;

Noting that as a result of the scuttling by the judiciary, the massive aid pledged by the international community did not reach the tsunami victims of the northeast;

Noting that in the island of Sri Lanka, due to pervasive racism, the ethnic majority always constitutes a political majority and has acted in denying the fundamental rights and legitimate aspirations of Tamils;

Noting the presidential election held in 2005 between the candidates who ran on the platform of negation of the accepted fundamental principles and the other who failed to implement the pledges made during the peace process and who campaigned on the basis of having engineered a division of the Tamil Nation, as a consequence of which the Tamils exercised their democratic right and boycotted the election;

Noting the victory of the candidate who espoused the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony and rejected any kind of power sharing outside the unitary framework;

Noting the present president of Sri Lanka's duplicity, for while airing policies of peace to the international community, he has adopted policies moving towards a military solution on the other side by engaging in a shadow war using various paramilitary groups directed by the Sri Lankan army and its intelligence unit with a intention of weakening the Tamil Nation, in violation of Article 1.8 of the CFA;

Noting that these paramilitaries and the Sinhala armed forces are behind the killing of Tamil parliamentary leaders, intellectuals, journalists, students and innocent civilians and thereby have made the Tamil Homeland into a killing field;

Noting that the present GoSL is amassing troops in the Tamil Homeland and is rehearsing for a major war, placing embargoes on fuel and building materials, restricting the freedom of movement of the people and intensifying existing restrictions on fishing;

Noting the refusal to make travel arrangements as agreed in the CFA and the obstruction of the LTTE political cadres in the SLA-controlled territory in Tamil Homeland attacks on the LTTE front defence lines and the indiscriminate aerial bombing and shelling of civilian settlements;

Noting the rapidly detoriating situation while the Geneva talks were held to examine the proper implementation of the CFA and the agreement of the GoSL to disarm the paramilitaries and the halting of violence against Tamil civilians;

Noting the killing of 207 civilians and 20 LTTE members since the Geneva talks;

Noting the failure to comply with the most important agreement in the Geneva Talks to disarm the paramilitary groups and now the denial of their very existence despite confirmation by the international community, the SLMM and international media;

Noting the false propaganda by the GoSL that LTTE attacked a passenger ship carrying unarmed troops while the SLMM monitor was present on the ship, but in reality the LTTE while carrying on its naval exercises was attacked by four Dvora gunboats. LTTE retaliated in self-defence, resulting in the sinking of one Dvora boat without being aware of the presence of another SLMM member in one of the Dvora boats. Immediately upon receiving notification from the Kilinochi SLMM office of the presence of an SLMM member in one of the Dora boats, LTTE ceased retaliation and allowed the Dvora boats to leave the area; the LTTE neither intended to attack the ship carrying the troops nor to endanger the lives of SLMM members;

Noting the existence of Sea Tigers, which was acknowledged by the SLMM as the LTTE's de facto naval force on April 24, 2003;

Noting that in the CFA the LTTE and the GoSL are treated in an identical fashion with equal rights and responsibilities consistent with the overall principle of parity, reflecting a common guiding principle in the foundation of many other ceasefire agreements;

Noting that the GoSL's armed forces should not and cannot be allowed to realize military objectives that they were unable to achieve during times of war;

Noting that based on law and fact, sovereignty over and under the sea appurtenant to the northeast and over the air belongs to the people of the northeast;

Noting the creation of a situation obstructing the LTTE's Eastern Commanders meeting in the Vanni to decide on important matters pertaining to Geneva–II, and thereby derailing it;

Noting that while unleashing violence and creating an atmosphere of war, the GoSL placed the entire blame on the LTTE as war mongers and terrorists and continued the GoSL's long-standing foreign policy of isolating them within the international community;

Noting that the European Union, accepting this false propaganda, punished the victims of state terror and branded the LTTE as a "terrorist organisation" without considering the realities of the ground situation;

Noting that the LTTE has always accepted the nomination of SLMM monitors by the Royal Norwegian Government;

Noting that the European Union's recent actions taken with respect to the LTTE have regrettably created serious apprehension regarding the impartiality, or at least a perception of the lack of impartiality, of the representatives from those countries that are members of the EU: "Justice must not only be done but also seem to be done;"

Noting that the CFA need not be amended to address the LTTE's concerns;

Noting that the LTTE accepted the Royal Norwegian Government's invitation and came to Oslo in good faith to discuss ways and means to ensure the safety and security of the SLMM monitors;

Noting that the team sent by the GoSL to Oslo was described by the GoSL itself as "third-level";

Noting that the SLMM's monitors' safety and the LTTE's concerns could be met without amending the CFA coupled with the proper protocol of the level of the negotiating teams, the LTTE's proposed bilateral talks with the SLMM and the facilitators in Oslo;

Noting that when the GoSL opposed the modalities of talks suggested by the LTTE, the LTTE proposed negotiations between the secretary general of the LTTE's Peace Secretariat and his counterpart of similar status, following the proper protocol for negotiations;

Noting that the talks agreed on in Oslo are not to be Geneva Talks II, which require a prior meeting of the central committee of the LTTE and compliance with the Geneva I agreements; these prerequisites have not been satisfied due to the continued intransigence of the GoSL;

Noting that the international community's insistence that the solution should be found within a united Sri Lanka coupled with the military threat against the LTTE will not only disrupt the power equilibrium but also remove the incentive for the GoSL to seek a negotiated settlement;

Noting that the International Community's recent misguided attempt to differentiate the Tamil Nation from the LTTE, the sole interlocutor of the former in the negotiations, is injurious to the peace process;

Noting that Sri Lanka has achieved the status of being 25th in the index of failed states, and is demonstrating its lack of will and ability to enter into a just and equitable negotiated settlement;

Reaffirms its policy of finding a solution to the Tamil national question based on the realisation of its right to self-determination.

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