The Sri Lankan Peace Process at a Crossroads

Lessons, Opportunities and Ideas for Principled Negotiations and Conflict Transformation

by Tyrol Ferdinands, Kumar Rupesinghe, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Jayadeva Uyangoda, Norbert Ropers, January 2004


Executive Summary and Recommendations

The Sri Lankan peace process is at a crossroads.  Seven months after it withdrew from the talks, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) presented their proposal for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) for the NorthEast on 1 November 2003, and expressed their preparedness to resume negotiations with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).  The southern polity however is once again entangled in a power struggle between the United National Party (UNP) and People’s Alliance (PA) and their respective leaders: both sides nevertheless have also expressed their willingness to resume talks.  The differences between them with respect tot he substance of the peace negotiations are small.  The actual problems are about who should take over the main responsibilities for the peace negotiations and how it should be pursued.  Therefore, resolving the ethnic conflict and the inter-party conflict in the South are intertwined…

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